There’s no official announcement yet from the Cardinals on when Adam Wainwright will have Tommy John elbow surgery, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he’ll go under the knife Monday.
Some pitchers come back from Tommy John surgery in 10 months, some pitchers need two years, and some are never the same, but for the most part the expected recovery timetable is right around 12 months.
For instance Joe Nathan, who had the surgery during spring training last year, is now throwing without any restrictions in Twins camp and seems confident about being 100 percent ready for Opening Day. Wainwright is actually about three weeks ahead of Nathan in terms of when the surgery takes place, although that isn’t a significant difference in a year-long process.
As for Wainwright’s unique contract situation, because the Cardinals’ ability to void his 2012 and 2013 options is based on Wainwright being on the disabled list when the season ends we likely won’t know the outcome until October unless the two sides agree to a new multi-year deal that wipes away the old pact.