The St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright injured his throwing elbow and is returning to St. Louis to have it examined by team doctors. The former 20-game winner could miss the season if Tommy John surgery is needed.

General manager John Mozeliak said Wednesday that “things do not look encouraging” for the 2010 Cy Young runner-up based on the initial evaluation by training staff. He said the right-hander injured his elbow on the third to final pitch of Monday’s bullpen session.

Wainwright went 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA in 2010 in finishing second in the Cy Young balloting to Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay.

In 2009, Wainwright led the NL in wins (19), innings (233) and starts (34), winning a Gold Glove while finishing third in the Cy Young voting.

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