NEW YORK -- Manager Mike Matheny wasn't quite as optimistic as Adam Wainwright that the right-hander will be able to make his next scheduled start, on Sunday against the Pirates, but both are equally relieved that the injury Wainwright sustained to his right knee in lunging for Chris Young's bloop on Tuesday night is not nearly as bad as it first looked.
"I will be throwing a side [session] tomorrow," said Wainwright on Wednesday. "Everything is good. To be honest with you, I am better than I thought I would be. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was just a hair sore with full extension of my leg. But I can fully extend it and straighten my leg out with no problems.
"Last night I didn't really want to do that, was guarding against it. I probably already feel 50 percent better than I did last night."
Young's out, recorded by first baseman Matt Adams while Wainwright hobbled past the bag, ended both the seventh inning and Wainwright's night. Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal finished the Cardinals' 2-0 win.
Matheny said it is "too early" to be certain that Wainwright will be good to go in four days, but he wasn't going to rule it out after watching his pitcher work out on Wednesday.
"He was actually doing some leg workouts -- modified and lightweight -- but all his movements looked right," said Matheny. "He said he is feeling really good about where he is going to be.
"Right now we are really grateful, because that looked like it was going to be pretty bad. When I see [the knee] giving out on him like that, for him not to be hurt worse, you have to realize he has been doing a lot of [things right] as far as preparation and stability.
"The things he is doing in the weight room really come to light in a situation like that."
Jay Greenberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.