The Washington Post

Ryan Mattheus cleared to resume throwing

Ryan Mattheus. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Ryan Mattheus. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Ryan Mattheus met with trainers Monday and said he was cleared to resume throwing. He planned to play catch Tuesday and will resume a throwing program. The right-handed reliever said he is much improved from the chest discomfort that was diagnosed as costochondritis, an inflammation of rib cartilage. 

“I’m excited,” he said. 

Mattheus hasn’t thrown in two weeks, when he first felt the chest pain following his second bullpen session of the spring. After a rough 2013 season, the right-hander felt confident this spring and eager to reassert himself in the bullpen. Now, he has the remaining month to catch up and prove he deserves a spot in the bullpen again.

Manager Matt Williams wants to hold back some relievers in the spring to keep them fresh for the start of the season. Mattheus’s progress as he resumes his throwing will dictate his timetable and his ability to compete for a bullpen spot, Williams said. Opening day is over three weeks away and Mattheus is on a tight timetable to catch up.

“It’s a moving target because we don’t know how he’s going to feel after that,” Williams said. “Shut down for a couple weeks, in and of itself, puts you behind the eight ball. Timetable-wise, you just don’t know. … Relieving is different that starting but at some point you run out of time.”

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010, wrote about high school sports across the region for two years and has covered the Nationals since the middle of the 2012 season.



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James Wagner · March 4, 2014