Estrada Is Sidelined By Tendinitis

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 2, 2008

VIERA, Fla., March 1 -- Washington Nationals catcher Johnny Estrada will be prevented from throwing or swinging for the immediate future in order to rest his ailing right elbow, which has developed tendinitis following offseason surgery.

Estrada, signed in January to a one-year, $1.25 million deal to serve as the backup to presumed starter Paul Lo Duca, developed soreness in the elbow over the past few days. The athletic training staff told him he needs to take at least a couple of days off.

"I'm not too worried -- yet," Estrada said. "If we were sitting here [with] two weeks left before the season, then I would be worried."

Estrada said his left knee, on which he also had surgery in October, has caused him no problems.

Lo Duca, who suffered torn meniscus in his left knee during a January workout, just started swinging a bat Friday, and he took soft-toss swings Saturday. He said he hopes to begin catching bullpen sessions by Monday.

"No pain, no setbacks," Lo Duca said. "It's getting better every day."

Manager Manny Acta said as long as both were healthy by the middle of the month, they would have enough time to properly prepare for the season, in large part because they could play in a minor league game, where the rules would be loosened in order to allow them to get six or seven at-bats in a day.

Young Also Out

First baseman Dmitri Young strained muscles on his left side -- from his rib cage down to his quadriceps -- swinging earlier in the week and was unavailable in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Young said he would likely need three or four days of rest.

"We're going to be cautious with him," Acta said. . . .

It appears unlikely that Japanese lefty Katsuhiko Maekawa, signed to a minor league deal in February, will join the Nationals. Acta said Maekawa has been held up by visa problems that may be related to his legal problems in Japan, where he was charged in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. . . . Reliever Jesús Colome, who returned last week to the Dominican Republic to work out a visa problem, is due back in camp Tuesday or Wednesday, Acta said. . . . Closer Chad Cordero made his first appearance of the spring and allowed only a bloop single.

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