Jayson Werth receives cortisone shot to relieve AC joint sprain

August 13, 2014

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth will miss the next two or three days after he received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder to relieve pain from an acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain, Manager Matt Williams said.

Werth received an MRI exam on his shoulder Tuesday night, and “all of that checked out really well,” Williams said. Werth had no structural damage in his labrum rotator cuff, but pain from his AC joint became difficult to play through. As the cortisone takes effect, Werth will miss a handful of games.

“He’ll let it get to work a little bit,” Williams said. “He should be good to go. It’s one of things, it’s kind of just a painful thing. There’s no structural damage. No issues with anything else, according to the picture. It’ll just calm it down and get the inflammation out of there. But during the process, he can’t play. We’ve got to shut him down for a couple days at least.”

Werth declined to discuss his injury.

In June 2012,  Ryan Zimmerman received a cortisone shot for an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder. Before the injection, Zimmerman slumped. Immediately after, Zimmerman went on a tear that lasted the entire season and into the National League Division Series.

Werth had been playing through pain in shoulder for “a little while,” Williams said. “It hadn’t gotten this severe. It hadn’t gotten this painful.” Last week in Washington, Williams removed Werth late in two games to rest his shoulder. Werth sat out Friday and Saturday in Atlanta, but he irritated his shoulder with a slide Sunday night.

“I think [the cortisone shot] will turn out to be good,” Williams said. “We don’t want to lose him for a couple days, let alone longer than that. This is a preventative measure more than anything. Just calming that joint down is important.”

Along with taking Werth out of the lineup Wednesday, Williams gave center fielder Denard Span a day off after his on-base streak ended at 36 games Tuesday night. (“Tough league,” Span said, jokingly.) Span had played the past 35 games without a break, and Span texted Williams in the morning that now may be a good time for a rest.

“You go through a streak like that, and mentally it’s more demanding than it is physically at times,” Williams said. “He’s been on base all those games in a row, running the bases, stealing the bases, scoring runs, playing defense. When it’s all over, your brain goes, ‘Ahh, it’s over.’ And then you start to feel things. It’s a good day to get him off.”

With Span out, Tuesday’s hero Michael Taylor will play center field, his natural position. (Williams said Taylor reminded him of Devon White chasing balls in center.) Kevin Frandsen will play left field, and Bryce Harper moved to right field.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.
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Adam Kilgore · August 13, 2014