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Report: Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright has no structural damage in elbow, MRI says

Adam Wainwright said he's been pitching "sub-par-to-average stuff" but has not allowed a run in seven of his 14 starts. (Belleville News-Democrat/Getty Images) Adam Wainwright said he's been pitching "sub-par-to-average stuff" but has not allowed a run in seven of his 14 starts. (Belleville News-Democrat/Getty Images)

An MRI performed on Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright's right elbow on Wednesday confirmed soreness he had previously been experiencing but it showed no structural damage, according to a report from Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. 

The 32-year-old, an All-Star in 2010 and '13, had his ligament replaced via Tommy John surgery in 2011. On Wednesday, doctors confirmed his recent elbow soreness is not from that surgery or the damage that preceded it. Rather, the Cardinals said the issue is more akin to the chronic pain and inflammation typically associated with tennis elbow, which results from overuse and overextension of the elbow.

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Manager Mike Matheny breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday, saying after the MRI results came back that the team is not as concerned about his elbow anymore since it's been determined that it's simply sore and not structurally damaged, according to the report.

It's possible he could miss his scheduled start for Monday's series opener at home vs. the New York Mets. Wainwright received a cortisone shot in his elbow this week, but the decision about Monday will be made on Friday or Saturday, according to a tweet from Ryan Boyer of NBC Sports.

Matheny admitted in the report that it's still too early to say definitively whether he play vs. the Mets, despite the MRI results:

"We're going to wait and see how everything goes. We're going to take some more notes and listen to the doctors. I think it was the right medical move to get him home as quick as we could to make sure there wasn't anything more going on than what we thought."

Wainwright, who won the 2006 World Series with St. Louis in his second year in the league, said he was pitching "subpar-to-average stuff" over seven scoreless innings in Tuesday's 1-0 win in Tampa Bay over the Rays.

He currently has a 2.15 ERA, fourth-best in the NL, and has not allowed a run in seven of his 14 starts. The Cardinals were 34-31, second behind only the Brewers in the NL Central, heading into Wednesday night's game in Tampa Bay.

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