Zimmermann on surgery

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Just got off the phone with Jordan Zimmermann about the diagnosis that he’ll need Tommy John surgery and will miss most of next season.

He said he’s known about the diagnosis for a couple days—the Nationals sent the MRI to Dr. James Andrews for confirmation, and will get another opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum before proceeding. He sounded disappointed, yet determined to be back ahead of schedule and better than ever.

Here’s the full transcript:

When did things change with how it felt? “I’m not real sure. I had stiffness, but I don’t know if I was just pitching with it for a while. I kind of wish I knew when things went wrong myself. But I’ve gotta get the surgery done. I’m sure everything will be just fine. I’ll rehab hard and hopefully be back ahead of schedule.”

When did you find out it would be TJ? “I found out a couple days ago. Andrews was the one that caught it. Wiemi saw something a little fishy.”

Do you know when/where surgery will be? “They’re gonna have it looked at again by Yocum out in California.”

When did you know something was wrong? “I wasn’t really experiencing pain until that one bullpen after the Cubs series. That’s when I knew (something was wrong). I just thought it was a little bump I was going through in the road, and that everything would work itself out.”

How was it during the rehab start at Potomac (last week)? “It didn’t hurt that bad when I was pitching, just after and in between innings.”

What were the emotions like when you found out? “I was pretty shocked and shook up, but I talked to some of the guys on the team about it, guys that went through it. It sucks, it’s a long period, but if you work hard, you come back stronger than ever. I talked to (Sean) Burnett, and he said it’s the best thing he ever had done to him. It’s a good thing. It sucks now, but in the long run, it’s gonna be a good thing.”

Where are you planning to rehab? “I’m pretty sure I’m just staying with the team rehabbing.”

How disappointing is it to have your rookie year end like this? “It’s disappointing. I wanna be out there every game if I could. But that’s not realistic. It’s a freak thing that occurs. A lot of guys have it. You get the surgery done, you come back stronger and throw harder. You’re stuff’s a lot sharper. It’s gonna be a long grueling process, but I’ll be better in the long run, and hopefully be back by next September ready to rock and roll.”

How long were you out with the broken jaw (you had in college)? “Two months. I’m sure the jaw was probably worse than this. I mean, I couldn’t eat. At least I’ll be able to eat (with this). I guess the rehab’s not too bad. It just takes a long time to get it back up.”

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