Matt Purke, here in 2012, had put up an ERA higher than eight so far this season. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Nationals minor league left-hander Matt Purke traveled to Washington for an examination on his left elbow earlier this week and will receive a second opinion from an outside physician, Assistant General Manager Doug Harris said.

A second opinion on a pitcher’s elbow often serves as a precursor to Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, but Harris said the Nationals are holding out hope that Purke, a member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster, will receive a less significant diagnosis.

Taylor Jordan (Alex Brandon/AP)

At Class AA Harrisburg this season, Purke owns an 8.04 ERA in eight starts. The Nationals signed Purke to a roughly $4 million major league contract after they selected him in the third round of the 2011 draft. His career has been frequently stalled by injuries, mostly to his left shoulder.

The Nationals received better news about right-hander Taylor Jordan, who exited his start Tuesday for Class AAA Syracuse. Harris said the Chiefs were exercising caution when they removed Jordan with soreness in his arm following three slow-moving innings, and they do not expect further complications.

Related: Jordan, Purke suffer injuries