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Zimmermann likely will avoid DL with biceps strain

Jul 13, 2014, 12:15 AM EDT

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Updated at 12:15 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA —The Nationals don’t believe Jordan Zimmermann will need to spend any time on the disabled list after an MRI of his right arm taken Saturday revealed only a biceps strain, no structural damage.

Manager Matt Williams dispersed results of the MRI following the Nationals’ 5-3, 10-inning win over the Phillies, breathing a sigh of relief knowing his All-Star pitcher is not seriously injured.

“Given his history, yeah, that’s a big relief for us,” Williams said. “The way he reacted last night, we didn’t think there was an issue with the elbow or the shoulder. But we had to make sure.”

Zimmermann had Tommy John surgery for a torn elbow ligament as a rookie in 2009 but insisted Friday night he had no elbow or shoulder pain, with the discomfort limited to his biceps muscle. He remained unconcerned throughout the process but was reassured by the test results.

“I didn’t think it was bad, anything serious,” he said. “The MRI came back and looked pretty good. A little inflammation. Give it rest for a few days and go home and come back and start throwing on Thursday again.

Zimmermann said he will return home to Auburndale, Wisc., over the All-Star break, electing not to go to Minneapolis for the festivities. That will leave the Nationals, who enter Sunday tied for first place in the NL East, as the only franchise in the majors without representation at the Midsummer Classic.

The Nationals haven’t mapped out a full course moving forward yet, but they can afford to take their time bringing Zimmermann back. They won’t need a fifth starter until July 22 at Cincinnati.

“I think with the All-Star break, we can look at how he comes out of that and see,” Williams said. “If in fact we’ve got to do something like [the DL] after the break, we can do that. We can backdate it. But he was feeling pretty good today. So he’ll go on his normal throwing program and see how he feels. And then once we determine that, we can determine whether it’s something we need to look at after the break or not.”

The biceps strain is muscular only, with no damage to any ligaments, tendons or joints.

Zimmermann took the field during batting practice Saturday and shagged flyballs with his teammates, though he didn’t throw any balls back toward the infield.

“I feel pretty good today,” he said. “I didn’t throw, but for the most part it feels good. I expect it to get better every day.”

The fact Zimmermann (6-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 19 starts) appears to be fine moving forward was particularly pleasing news to the Nationals moments after their extra-inning win.

“Anybody who has been through Tommy John, whether it’s a guy on our team or not or someone else’s team, you never want to see someone go through that stuff,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “With how hard he worked to get back and obviously how great he’s been pitching, it’s a plus for us. It’s nice to have the break kind of built in here, to not have to worry about the DL. He’s going to be a big part of us in the second half and hopefully he can get back from the All-Star break and everything will be good.”

  1. sunshinebobby - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    What, we’re still awaiting results from the Minute-Clinic at the all-night CVS?

  2. manassasnatsfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    MRIs don’t take that long, unless there are complications.

  3. micksback1 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    this is when MW and Rizzo come across as full of s—

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      Because they don’t offer a definitive answer without all the facts in front of them?

      • micksback1 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        MRI results do not take all day, but by all means keep drinking the kool aide

        whatever floats your boat

      • Another Tyler - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:22 PM

        This is the part that sounds dodgy: “radiating feelings of things with regards to elbows and stuff like that”

  4. zmunchkin - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    A radiologist (they folks who look at and interpret the results) once told me that tests that show no problem take longer as they want to be extra careful about concluding that there is no problem. Obvious problems can be seen immediately. Subtle ones can take longer.

    I assume that the Nats are being extra careful with this.

  5. karlkolchak - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    The good news is he has 10 days to rest the injury until he is needed again. Hopefully that will be all it takes.

    Meanwhile, has anyone been following Austin Voth’s exploits down at Potomac? Since being promoted from Hagerstown, he is 2-0 in 4 starts with a 0.35 ERA, 0.500 WHIP and 28 Ks with only 4 BBs in 26 IPs. I saw his second start down there and he was really snapping the ol’ catcher’s mitt with his pitches.

    Interestingly, he was second in Ks in the PAC-10 coming out of college behind No 1. overall pick Mark Appel, who is a complete mess with Houston right now. Voth slipping all the way to the 5th round seems a little baffling now, but I’m glad the Nats got him.

  6. NatsLady - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    I believe the Rays are also without representation. David Price is pitching today and they selected Fernando Rodney in his place.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      What place are the Rays in the standings?

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