Hill Receives Cortisone Shot For Arm Pain

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 9, 2008

KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 8 -- Washington Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill, who entered spring training on schedule to be the club's starter when it opens its new ballpark, received a cortisone shot in his right arm late Friday.

Hill, 26, tried to play down the problem Saturday, admitting only that he cut short a throwing session Friday because of pain in his arm, on which he had offseason surgery to decompress a nerve. He didn't mention the shot.

"It didn't feel great, but I threw what I was supposed to throw," Hill said. "I was just a little frustrated with just the fact that I still had some pain. But I was still throwing."

But General Manager Jim Bowden said several club officials and medical personnel are trying to find a solution, particularly given that an MRI exam and an examination by a specialist have revealed no structural or nerve problems. The cortisone shot was the latest attempt at a solution.

"They injected it, and he had instant relief," Bowden said. "What that means, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see when he goes back on the mound."

That is another question which, for now, has no answer. Hill said he hasn't been issued a throwing schedule.

Hill's turn in the spring rotation would have put him in line to start the opener March 30. Though Manager Manny Acta said "there's still a very good chance" Hill won't have to begin the season on the disabled list, the club is considering several alternate plans. Right-hander John Patterson is slated to start March 31 against Philadelphia, and he could be moved up.

The club, though, clearly prefers to solve Hill's problem.

"That's what we want, because if you get the solution [and] you get him healthy, he's on the mound, we know how nasty he is," Bowden said. "When he's been throwing, he's been throwing great." . . .

Right-hander Tim Redding pitched in a ferocious wind during Saturday's 12-10 victory over the Houston Astros, a game in which Ryan Zimmerman, Ronnie Belliard and Luis Jimenez homered for Washington. Redding gave up five runs in three innings. "Rough day to be out there pitching," Acta said, "but still, I thought his command wasn't there." . . .

Dmitri Young went 0 for 2 in a minor league game, his first action since straining his left side Feb. 29. Bowden said Young lined out hard and struck out. He did not play in the field.

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