The starting rotation is one of the areas of strength for the St. Louis Cardinals, but it may have taken a significant hit today. Adam Wainwright has left Cardinals Spring training and returned to St. Louis to have his elbow examined. According to Gabe Lacques of USA Today, Cards GM John Mozeliak said the injury was "significant."
If early indications are as grim as they appear, and Wainwright is headed for Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, the blow would be a devastating one for the Cardinals.
Wainwright went 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA and 213 strikeouts en route to finishing second in the NL Cy Young voting. Suddenly, there is a lot more to think about with the Cardinals than Albert Pujols.
If the prognosis is as bad as it appears, Wainwright need not look any further than his own locker room to see an example of a player coming back successfuly from Tommy John surgery. Chris Carpenter had the very same surgery in 2007 and has recovered to be a very effective pitcher in the Majors once again.
We'll keep you up to date with all the latest as we find out what exactly is wrong with Adam Wainwright, and check out the SB Nation stream for more information.