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Posted at 02:34 PM ET, 03/21/2012

Drew Storen feeling better, confident he’ll be ready for opening day

(Julio Cortez - AP)
Closer Drew Storen returned to the Nationals’ clubhouse and played catch this morning, a day after the Nationals sent him home with strep throat that has prevented him from building arm strength this spring.

Storen has pitched in only two games this spring and has not pitched in two weeks while tending to standard soreness in his arm and dealing with the illness. After his first two outings this spring, Storen felt soreness in his biceps and triceps. The Nationals prescribed rest and did not send him for any additional tests.

“It was fine,” Storen said. “It wasn’t that significant.”

But then Storen fell ill, and he remained sidelined while the rest of the Nationals’ bullpen prepared for the season.

“I kind of got after it the first couple outings,” Storen said. “It’s just normal soreness and I just deal with it. It’s nothing huge. It kind of killed my plan when I got sick. We’ve still got time. That’s kind of the main thing.”

Storen believes he should be both healthy and prepared by opening day, in part because he pitches in relief and does not need the endurance of a starter.

“It’s like an Interstate,” Storen said. “It’s just a matter of getting to the Interstate. Once I get to the Interstate, I’m good. I don’t want to rush it. If I try to rush it, that’s going to impact me in the middle of regular season. That’s what I’m trying to avoid.”

Storen said he typically comes down with strep threat once a year. He was hurting yesterday, but after a day off he returned feeling much better. “Modern medicine, you gotta love it,” Storen said.

By  |  02:34 PM ET, 03/21/2012

Tags:  Washington Nationals

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