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(Reuters) - The St. Louis Cardinals have received some welcome news ahead of the playoffs with Adam Wainwright being activated off the injury list to pitch out of the bullpen on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old Wainwright has not pitched since April 25 when he tore his left Achilles' tendon and had been expected to be out of action until next year with a recovery time of between nine and 12 months.
A long-time starting pitcher for the Cardinals, he will come off the bench for the doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates as he works his way back into match fitness with the team looking how to use him in the post-season.
"The medical staff kept saying, 'There's almost no chance to come back, but let's keep motivating you,'" Wainwright told mlb.com on Tuesday about his faster than expected recovery.
"So that got me thinking there was a chance. And there was.
"I'm excited. Tomorrow is perfect. It gives me some time to pitch in the 'pen for the manager and the front office.
"That's all I can ask for."
Wainwright won 20 games last season for the Cardinals, who lead the majors this year with a 99-58 record.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury