Nats' Zimmerman Breaks Bone in Wrist

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman broke a minor bone in his left wrist while swinging a bat over the weekend, an injury that will almost certainly require surgery but which club officials don't believe will hinder his preparation for the 2008 season.

Zimmerman, 23, said he was hitting at his high school Sunday morning in Virginia Beach when he took a swing that didn't feel comfortable. He took "two or three more," and it still didn't feel right. The wrist was swollen later that night, and he called Nationals head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz. Zimmerman traveled to Washington yesterday, and a CT scan confirmed a fracture of the hook of the hamate bone.

Zimmerman will see hand specialist Richard Barth today and almost certainly will have the bone surgically removed this evening at Sibley Hospital. Recovery is expected to take four to six weeks.

"We're really kind of lucky that it happened now," Zimmerman said. "It's just one of those things where it can happen at any time. It's just in a weird place where you put the bat on your hand, and there's so much force going through there."

He said he had problems with the wrist late in the 2007 season, and that doctors suspected he may have earlier fractured the bone.

"They think it was just a bunch of wear and tear from the past two or three years from where I might have done it before, and it kind of healed on its own," he said. "My hands were bothering me sometimes, but if I'm good enough to play and help the team, I'm going to go out there."

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