Williams explained Thursday that he hadn’t gotten official word about Johnson’s injury until after the game. Until then, the team speculated he may have a strained oblique given the pain was in his side and initial X-rays were negative. Johnson did feel pain intensify after sneezing. As it turned out, the sneeze exacerbated the rib trouble.
Johnson had worked his way back from a torn tendon in his foot, nearing a late-season return that seemed unlikely early on. Now, he’s sidelined from baseball activity for an indefinite period. Williams mentioned four to six weeks as a potential recovery time, which means he’s likely done for the season.
“It changes things drastically for him,” Williams said.
>>>>> Right-handed reliever David Carpenter threw an inning of rehab with Class A Potomac and two more outings with Class AA Harrisburg. After his most recent outing on August 23 he felt soreness in the right shoulder that has given him trouble since July and kept him on the disabled list since July 12. He was with the Nationals in Washington Thursday doing his throwing program.
>>>>> Williams said outfielder Nate McLouth is still in Florida, working to rehab his right shoulder. McLouth had surgery to repair a torn labrum in that shoulder last August and has continued to experience what Williams called “setbacks” since. It is safe to say McLouth will not return to the Nationals this season, though Williams did not say so specifically.
“He’s going back and forth, doing some rehab at home [in Tennessee], too,” Williams said. “Nate’s had setbacks and just hasn’t been able to get over that hump yet. He’s doing everything he can do to get that shoulder back going the way he needs it to go.”
Williams said “it’s difficult” to see a player who was “a major part of the plan” unable to fill the role he expected. The Nationals signed McLouth to a two-year contract worth $10.75 million before last season. He has played in 79 games as a National — all of them last season — and hit .173 with one home run.