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Shoulder pain forces LaRoche to bench

Apr 9, 2011, 9:48 PM EDT

NEW YORK — Adam LaRoche was held out of the Nationals’ lineup tonight after experiencing a recurrence of pain in his injured left shoulder, though the first baseman continues to believe he can play through the season without making a trip to the disabled list.

LaRoche, who learned in late-March he has a slight tear of the labrum, said his shoulder started aching Tuesday night shortly after he made a hard throw to second base in Florida. He also had to throw with some velocity Friday when he fielded a bunt from the Mets’ Chin-lung Hu and threw to first base.

“Making that throw in Florida, I think I’ve taken a few steps backwards,” said LaRoche, who had seen the condition improve after getting a cortisone injection last month and taking a weekend off. “That’s part of what today is, to try to get it back to where we were at the end [of spring training].”

The injury still doesn’t affect LaRoche’s swing, giving him and team officials confidence he can continue to play without needing to take more than a handful of days off during the season.
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  1. Will - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    No, so he won't miss anytime, except that he's sitting out once a week. By June, he'll realize he can't keep playing, and needs surgery.This sounds so stupid."I can keep playing….. except I can't""It's not preventing me from playing, except when it does.""It's not affecting my play on the field…." so how can we take his word for it?It sounds like Riggleman or Rizzo or someone needs to step in and insist that LaRoche heals, so we aren't stuck with a guy at 66% all season, when we could have a guy at 100% for 80% of the season.

  2. bdrube - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Looks like Chris Marrero might get his shot sooner rather than later.

  3. bgib - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Different injury, but it sure sounds like Jason Marquis all over again. They mishandled him last year, and now they are about to do it with Laroche.

  4. Doc - Apr 9, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    The problem isn't LaRoche's shoulder—it's Rizzo's head!!!! This guy came into camp with physical problems, meaning that Rizzo was advised about it when LaRoche had his physical. Meaning, Rizzo ignored the findings from the physical, just as he did with Marquis, Meridith, and a few others. Rizzo is dangerous for the team's health!!!

  5. Gnashnail - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    I repeat my point from March 29/30 here:Gnashnail said…I am sorry, but reality is screaming here with this shoulder. As I showed, with before-and-after videos of CMW's delivery/mechanics as indicators of his non-plus status at the beginning of ST here on NI, you are stuck with a similar conclusion for LaRoche. I predicted on this blog that despite the drunken hoopla, CMW was out for months, not weeks–and I rest my case. In Adam's situation, a so-called small labrum tear–difficult to diagnose without a contrast MRI–does not simply go away, especially after a cortisone shot, which actually can mask enough pain that the patient easily stresses the tear and makes it worse, expanding the tear, completely pain free. And it gets worse, not better, though LaRoche's young age helps him. There is precious little blood service to the labrum, so healing is relatively very slow. Hitting is probably not that impacted, because the dominant arm (his left) provides power to the bat swing from a non-overhead motion–control comes mostly from the non-preferred arm (his right), so avg and pwr should be OK at the plate. But throwing is another story. I speak from medical knowledge and from personal experience having had SLAP and rotator cuff tears that went massive with almost no athletic stress after diagnosis like AdLaRo, and ended up in surgery. Rotator cuff and labral tears often go together, sometimes one after the other. Do *not* assume that we are stable at *all* at 1B.March 30, 2011 3:14 PM

  6. Gnashnail - Apr 10, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    And more to Doc's 7:55 point. As I repeated at 9:10 from my posting a week and a half ago, a labral tear is likely to go undetected in a physical exam, so unless there was reason to do a specific contrast imagery exam, no one would know. I have to doubt that the Nats' brain trust knew and ignored a medical issue like this. But these injuries are often chronic (usually with some pain), which (chronic or acute) you would think Adam would have noticed, maybe even months ago??? and as a professional athlete, had it looked into???

  7. P. Cole - Apr 10, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    WTF??? Are any of the Nats brass reading your articles? This injury isn't going to heal itself with a couple days off here and there.LaRoche is an idiot.

  8. Cwj - Apr 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    LaRoche will be fine. He's in the lineup and already made a nice play today (4/10).He can wait til the offseason to take care of his shoulder.Losing LaRoche this year would be devastating, by the way.

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