Nationals remain unconcerned about Doug Fister’s inflamed elbow


Doug Fister. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Nationals starter Doug Fister continues to receive treatment for his inflamed right elbow, which began causing discomfort following his first spring starter last Sunday. Fister had spent a lot of time in the Nationals training room and, according to Manager Matt Williams, is taking ant-inflammatory medicine and icing his elbow.

But again, Williams said the Nationals remain unconcerned. Fister underwent an MRI on Thursday, which showed the inflammation but , according to General Manager Mike Rizzo, showed no structural damage.

“The results were great,” Williams said. “No structural issues. It’s inflammation and we’ve got to get it out. It’s good news but we have to shut him down for a few days.”

Some pitchers who have dealt with elbow inflammation in the past have also had no structural damage, such as Los Angeles Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, who received an injection of platelet-rich plasma to accelerate healing. Williams said that it had not been discussed for Fister.

The Nationals have been publicly optimistic about Fister’s injury. The team, however, has a history of publicly underselling injuries. Rest is often a first option after an arm injury. Williams said this is the first time Fister, 30, has had any elbow issues in his career.

Reliever Drew Storen, for example, had elbow inflammation and an MRI also found no structural damage. In April, nearly three weeks later, Storen had surgery to remove a bone fragment in his right elbow. Storen returned to the Nationals in mid-July that season.

Williams said there is no timetable for Fister’s rest or return. Fister will rest a few days and then the team will evaluate how his elbow responds to treatment. The Nationals hope Fister will miss this start and then is able to resume throwing.

“We just don’t know,” Williams said. “Out a couple days. Get him to throw and see how it feels. Then determine at that point if he wants to do a bullpen, needs to do a bullpen. Then determine what his next step will be. Right now, shut him down a few and get it out of there.”

Fister wasn’t available for comment on Friday. A day later, he spoke with some reporters, such MASNSports.com and MLB.com. He told them he wasn’t concerned about his elbow.

“Just some inflammation,” Fister told the reporters. “Just taking a start and getting it better. So that’s it.”

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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James Wagner · March 8

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