Patterson Looks for Fix In Canada

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 2, 2007

PITTSBURGH, July 1 -- Washington Nationals right-hander John Patterson said Sunday he is seeking a treatment for his ailing elbow not approved in the United States because he wants to avoid season-ending surgery.

"If we can get this nerve fixed, I'll be able to get back out there and pitch in September," Patterson said in a telephone interview. "If I have surgery, I'm done for the year."

Patterson, though, said that because the injury has been determined to be confined to the radial nerve in his right arm, he does not feel his career is in jeopardy.

"I think it's a temporary problem," he said. "I really do. If we can get that nerve fixed, there's really nothing else wrong. It's not like I have a torn elbow or a torn shoulder that at this point would be a career-threatening thing."

Patterson, who is 1-5 with a 7.47 ERA in seven starts, stressed that this is a separate nerve injury from the one for which he had surgery in July 2006; that was his median nerve.

Patterson is scheduled to visit the Institute of Sport Medicine in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke on July 10, and the treatment will last between two and three weeks. Patterson shares the same agents as Oakland closer Huston Street, brothers Randy and Alan Hendricks, and Street just completed 18 days of treatment there for a similar problem. Street's treatment included oxygen therapy in a hyberbaric chamber.

"Huston is effusive in his praise of the program and feels really good now," Randy Hendricks said in an e-mail Sunday. "He is long-tossing without pain, which is really encouraging."

Flores, a Fine Replacement

Nationals catcher Brian Schneider is on pace to appear in a career-high 138 games. But he has been the once-a-week guy that Jesus Flores is now. Flores, the 22-year-old rookie, hit a two-run homer and caught Mike Bacsik's fine outing in Sunday's 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh.

"That's not easy to stay ready when you're not playing," Schneider said. "But he's handled it really, really well."

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