Wednesday October 8th, 2014

The St. Louis Cardinals are planning to start Adam Wainwright in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold reports.

Wainwright has had tendinitis in his right elbow for most of the season, and he struggled in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Dodgers, allowing six earned runs and 11 hits in 4.1 innings.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the team will only start him if he is healthy.

“Just making sure that Waino feels right,” Matheny said. “We’ve got two guys on regular rest it wouldn’t be a stretch to have either one of them go. There’s no question that Waino has been fighting it. I haven’t made that a secret and neither has he. It’s all going to come down to how he feels. The likelihood of him saying ‘I can’t go’ is very slim. But it is a possibility that something might not feel right.”

• VERDUCCI: How Giants, Cards reached NLCS

Matheny said the medical staff told him the treatment for Wainwright's elbow is rest, and his discomfort has come from his heavy workload. Wainwright, 33, went 20-9 during the regular season with a career-best 2.38 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 227 innings. He had Tommy John surgery in 2011 and missed the Cardinals' World Series victory that season.

In his postseason career, Wainwright has a 4-3 record in 19 appearances with a 3.13 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 72 innings.

The Cardinals host the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday at 8:07 p.m. ET.

NIESEN: Close-knit Cardinals rise to occasion in NLDS win

- Paul Palladino

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