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Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmermann injury updates

Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who has been on the disabled list all season while recovering from right shoulder surgery he underwent in July 2009, threw live batting practice Friday. General Manager Mike Rizzo said there is no established timetable for Wang's return because of the uniqueness of Wang's injury.

Rizzo described Wang's ailment as one more commonly suffered by football players than by pitchers. He said quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints underwent the same type of surgery as Wang.

"As far as baseball pitchers go, there haven't been many - if any - injuries and subsequent surgeries to compare it to," Rizzo said. "So we're kind of going without a road map with the rehab and we're kind of going on feel and how he feels and where he's at."

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who is recovering from right elbow surgery, will pitch Saturday night at Class A Potomac. Rizzo said Zimmermann will be limited to pitching two innings or making 35 pitches. Zimmermann will remain on a typical, five-day rotation, according to Rizzo.

"He's been ahead of schedule, really, the whole time," Rizzo said. "I've had to pull him back a little bit and pull the reins in a little bit, which makes him unhappy at times because he wants to go at 100 miles per hour all the time. But that's a good thing. We're satisfied with where he's at, and we're hoping there's no hiccups or setbacks. If there's not, we'll expect to see him back here sometime in 2010."

As for the significance of Zimmermann's first time back on a mound under live game conditions during his rehab process, Nationals Pitching Coach Steve McCatty said it's just one of many steps Zimmermann has to take before he'll be ready to rejoin the major league rotation. If all goes as planned, Zimmermann could be ready to pitch in the majors by the end of July.

"If he does bad or good, that's not really the important thing," McCatty said of Zimmermann's start Saturday night. "It's just good to have him back going. I just want him to make sure he gets his innings in and is building his arm strength. His velocity here was real good. He threw some great breaking balls. He just needs to get out and throw some change-ups and get back into the mode of competition."

By Steve Yanda  |  July 2, 2010; 6:47 PM ET
Categories:  Chien-Ming Wang , Pitching rotation , minors & farm system  
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One possible translation - Wang might be ready by September, but don't count on it. JZimm could be ready to go by August 1st, but will probably need to be optioned first.
Opinion - If only one of them makes it back in 2010, then the team looks competetive (Strasburg, JZimm, Livo, Stammen/Atilano/Martin/Lannan); Detwiler, Olsen, Mock & Marquis are also out there as well on the DL.

There are currently 12 starters on the Nationals 40-man roster with ML expierience - If only eight of them survive through Viera next year, the team should still be ahead of the game, imo.

Posted by: BinM | July 2, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

will this really make any difference? Especially with the non-hitting and errors? Still see a below .500 team. If it is a team.

Posted by: M20832 | July 2, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, this is huge. There were only 3 important things this year: stras being as advertised (so far, check), zimmermann getting healthy and being what he was, and the team getting to respectability.

Posted by: WrongDog | July 3, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

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