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Doug Fister feels tightness after playing catch, Friday bullpen still scheduled

Doug Fister. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Doug Fister. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

After three straight days of playing catch following rest for his inflamed elbow, Doug Fister felt some tightness throughout his arm, according to Manager Matt Williams. The right-hander is still slated to throw a bullpen session on Friday, but that may hinge on how he feels.

It’s unclear if the tightness on Thursday is the original elbow discomfort flaring up again, but Williams suggested it could have been the result of throwing for three straight days again after nearly a week of rest. It is also a chillier day on Thursday morning than usual. Williams considered it a good sign that Fister could get through three consecutive days of playing catch.

Fister believes the increased activity after time off and his original elbow discomfort were factors. “It’s a combination of both,” he said. “I don’t know what to think.”

Fister, however, doesn’t view Thursday’s tightness as a setback and believes the past three days have gone “fairly smooth.”

“A little stiff because of I hadn’t thrown,” he said. “Just a matter of working those kinks out.”

Fister will be reevaluated on Friday, Williams said. Williams, who has consistently been optimistic about Fister’s ability to be ready for his first turn in the regular-season rotation, said earlier this week that Fister would have to throw a bullpen session before he returned to game action.

Fister’s only game appearance this spring came March 2, when he allowed a run on two hits and a walk while striking out two in a two-inning appearance against Miami. He was scratched from his next start with the inflammation, but the Nationals said that an MRI exam revealed no structural damage.

Fister said on Wednesday, his second straight of playing catch, that he felt good and he would ready in time for the start of the regular season.

“Any injury or setback is frustrating,” he said. “It’s just a matter of taking it in stride and trying to stay positive and getting the work in.”

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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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