"That's the first I've heard of it," Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall said. "He's a friend of mine, and I hope he's well. That's our rival team so you also look at it from that angle."
The Cardinals sent Wainwright, who finished second in Cy Young voting last season, back to St. Louis to have team doctors examine his sore right elbow. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirmed that the injury appears to be significant. The speculation is that Tommy John surgery is a possibility. Mozeliak told MLB.com: "When you have ligamenty damage that's what it usually results in."
Wainwright has won 39 games over the past two seasons. He experienced a strained elbow against the Cubs on Sept. 14 but was able to make two more starts after that outing and finished the season with 20 wins.
"He showed up to camp in great shape, and he felt good coming in," Mozeliak said on St. Louis radio station KFNS 590-AM The Fan. "He could avoid surgery, but I don't know if the percentage is 1 percent or 10 percent."
Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena was surprised by the news.
"It is absolutely so important to stay healthy," Pena said. "At the same time, when these things happen you adjust and you support the other guys and pick each other up. That's what comes into play."