The St. Louis Cardinals have activated right-hander Adam Wainwright from the 60-day disabled list ahead of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wainwright was believed to be lost for the season when he tore his left Achilles tendon during a start on April 25. However, he progressed rapidly in his rehab and threw his first simulated game last week.

In four starts before suffering the injury, Wainwright was 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA. Since 2009, he has finished in the top five in NL Cy Young Award voting four times.

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Because he has been out so long, Wainwright will be limited to relief duty for the remainder of the regular season and the postseason. In 2006 as a reliever, he helped lead the Cardinals to a World Series championship by tossing 9 2/3 scoreless innings and saving four games in the playoffs.

St. Louis can clinch the NL Central title with a win in either of Wednesday's games at Pittsburgh.