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It's full speed ahead for Wainwright

It's full speed ahead for Wainwright

February 25th, 2012 by R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer in News

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - Adam Wainwright breezed right past the hurdle that stopped him in his tracks last February.

The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander threw batting practice during the team's first full-squad workout Friday, just a few days past the one-year anniversary of the elbow injury that sidelined him all of 2011. Before throwing, he knew it was close to the date, but didn't seem to mind.

"This gives me a chance to conquer it," Wainwright said. "This gives me a chance to get over that."

Wainwright, who won 39 games in 2009-10, is on track to rejoin Chris Carpenter at the top of the rotation. He said he threw with a little more intensity than his previous bullpen session and thought his pitches had more life.

"Carp was telling me to back off, but it's one of those things where I have to figure out the right time to back it off," he said. "I want to make sure that I get over all the obstacles that I may have, if I'm going to have any, before I start backing off."

Wainwright said there's been no extra soreness. He said he usually has some bicep tendinitis early in spring training but hasn't experienced that this year.

"I can already tell I'm going to feel pretty good tomorrow. I've rebounded and felt good after every throw," Wainwright said.