Wainwright to have elbow surgery, will miss season

Adam Wainwright's season is over before it started.

The St. Louis Cardinals ace learned Thursday that he will need surgery to replace a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that usually take at least a year to recover from.

"That's a big guy to miss," teammate Kyle Lohse said in Jupiter, Fla. "We still got to go out there and play. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We still have to go out there and do our jobs."

The 29-year-old right-hander experienced soreness toward the end of last season and didn't pitch in September. He threw to the Cardinals top hitter in batting practice Monday and was set to start his team's spring training opener, then felt soreness the following day and was sent back to St. Louis on Wednesday for an examination.

Lewis Yocum then gave a second opinion to Wainwright, who won 19 games in 2009 and 20 last year to earn a second-place finish in NL Cy Young Award voting.

St. Louis will search for a fifth starter to go along with Chris Carpenter, Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook.

"You're losing an ace," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "It's not something you can replace overnight. I would also say we have four quality pitchers. It's not exactly like we have no bullets left."

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