Christian Garcia chats with Manager Davey Johnson on Thursday. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)


Nationals right-handed pitcher Christian Garcia left practice early today with both lingering pain in his stomach and minor tightness between his right wrist and forearm. After Garcia felt discomfort in his abdomen for the past few days, Manager Davey Johnson said, the Nationals sent him for tests to ensure he does not have a ruptured appendix.

“I kind of have, underneath my belly button, a pain that just comes and goes, kind of like a strong cramp. It’ll hit me, then go away for a little bit. … I’ve never felt anything like it.”

Garcia said he began to feel the tightness in his wrist Sunday, as he threw a bullpen session in unseasonably cold conditions. Garcia has undergone three elbow surgeries in his professional career, including two Tommy John procedures. His injury history convinced him the pain in his wrist is minor.

“It’s not typical. I’ve never had it,” Garcia said. “But where it’s located – the important stuff, here and here” – Garcia tapped his right elbow and shoulder – “that feels great. It’s early. In a couple days, I’ll be back at it. That’s what I’m hoping.”

Garcia could make the Nationals as either a starter or reliever. After his impressive call-up last September, the Nationals are stretching Garcia out to throw several innings at once. At the least, his ailments will briefly stunt those efforts.

“When I know it’s not the elbow, it still frustrates me,” Garcia said. “But I know I can overcome it. It’s no big deal.”