Patterson's Season May Be Finished

By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 15, 2006

PITTSBURGH, July 14 -- Washington Nationals right-hander John Patterson is going back on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain, and the chances of the 28-year-old starting pitcher being lost for the season appear increasingly high.

Patterson will undergo a nerve conduction study Monday and an enhanced MRI exam on Tuesday. After the results, Nationals orthopedist Ben Shaffer will offer a diagnosis Wednesday.

"We've done everything we can from a rehabilitation perspective, and now we just need to do more tests to see if possible surgery would solve it, or if there's any other thing we are not doing that we could do to get him back on track faster," Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said.

Patterson missed 57 games on the disabled list with the same injury earlier this season. Upon his return, the injury had not fully healed. Patterson repeatedly said he had a "dead arm" but now believes that injury and the original forearm injury are related.

"It just wasn't getting better," Patterson said. "We've got to take some time to get it right. I just need some time to get some strength back in it, to get it stronger. I just haven't been able to kick it."

Patterson had ligament replacement surgery to repair his right elbow in 2000, but the pitcher said the forearm injury, which is a muscle injury, is not related.

"This is not career-ending," Patterson said. "Is it disappointing? Yeah. Does it mess up my season? Yeah. Did I have better hopes for this season? Absolutely. So did everybody. It just didn't happen this year. But it's going to happen next year. I absolutely believe that. It hasn't gotten my confidence down. . . . It's just a little fluke injury that's cost me a season. But we're going to get it fixed, and we're going to be back."

To replace Patterson, the Nationals are expected to purchase the contract of Kevin Gryboski from Class AAA New Orleans. Mike O'Connor, currently with New Orleans, is tentatively scheduled to take Patterson's place in the rotation.

Jackson Ailing

Infielder Damian Jackson was not with the team Friday because of esophageal spasms, head trainer Tim Abraham said.

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