St. Louis Cardinals stalwart RHP Adam Wainwright will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2011 season as Matthew Leach has reported on MLB.com. The 29-year old starter finished second in last season’s Cy Young Award voting after going 20-11 with stellar stats including 230 1/3 IP with 56 walks against 213 strikeouts.

But Wainwright felt discomfort down the stretch as the Cardinals failed to track down the Reds and finished second in the NL central. He was held out of his final start of 2010 and looked to get healthy over the offseason. But pain in the throwing arm this week, as Spring Training opened, was a bad sign and it is now confirmed that Wainwright needs reconstructive surgery to replace the ulner collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

While this injury is far from┬áthe career death sentence that it was before Dr. Frank Jobe performed the landmark surgery on Tommy John in 1974, it’s still a long haul for Wainwright. It is generally understood that a full season is to be missed and if the pitcher is going to bounce back to his pre-injury form it won’t be until sometime in the second season after the surgery.

For a look at some of the results of the now-famous surgery, check out BleacherReport.com’s article on pitchers who came back strong as well as others who didn’t.