Adam Wainwright’s “modest goal” is to be on the Cardinals’ playoff roster

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Expecting to miss the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery during spring training, Adam Wainwright has progressed far enough in his recovery that the Cardinals right-hander is now hoping to pitch in 2011.

“My modest goal is try to talk them into letting me play on the playoff roster in October,” Wainwright told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, although he realistically pegged the chances of that happening as “probably bad.”

Tommy John surgery typically comes with a recovery timetable of 12-18 months, meaning Wainwright is no sure thing to be fully healthy by Opening Day of next season, let alone this October.

Of course, as Hummel points out one reason for Wainwright wanting to make such a speedy comeback is that his $9 million option for 2012 and $13 million option for 2013 would vest if he’s on the active roster at the end of this season. In other words, it ain’t happening.