St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who underwent surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon on April 30, didn't balk Tuesday at the possibility of returning this season.
"Absolutely," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch."I know that I'm working toward the end of the season. I don't know if that will [happen], but we'll see."
Originally Wainwright's recovery time was estimated to be from nine to 12 months, and Cardinals officials had hoped that the right-hander would be ready for the start of spring training in 2016.
But after two months of rehab, Wainwright has shed his crutches and is getting around with just a walking boot. He began working on his upper body this week.
"It's progressing nicely," he told the Post-Dispatch.
The 33-year-old Wainwright, who was 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings before suffering the injury while running out of the batter's box during an at-bat, has a career record of 121-67 with 1,324 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA. He alsomissed the 2011 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
St. Louis has reached the National League Championship Series in each of the past four seasons and entered Wednesday atop the NL Central standings with a six-game lead over Pittsburgh.
"The selfish part of me goes, 'No way they could win this many games without me, right?'" Wainwright told the Post-Dispatch. "What you realize is that this organization keeps on ticking, no matter what and no matter who they lose.
"If they can win without Albert [Pujols], they can win without me."
Wainwright optimistic for 2015 return
ESPN senior baseball writer Jerry Crasnick discusses Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright's recovery from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon.