The Washington Times - August 12, 2009, 06:32PM

The Nats got the third opinion on Jordan Zimmermann’s elbow that they’d been waiting for, and it confirmed what the first two had said: the right-hander needs Tommy John surgery. Dr. Lewis Yocum, who gave the Nationals the third opinion on Zimmermann’s elbow, will perform the operation in California next Wednesday.

Acting general manager Mike Rizzo said Zimmermann will rehab the rest of this season with the team, and probably with the major-leaguers next spring until he’s ready to do more baseball activities on his own.

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“He understands what’s going on,” Rizzo said. “He’s as upbeat as he can be about it. We foresee a long and successful career for him.”

In other pregame news, hitting coach Rick Eckstein was suspended for tonight’s game for his actions during Tuesday’s loss to the Braves, in which he came out of the dugout to argue a call with third-base umpire Larry Vanover. Eckstein said MLB vice president of on-field operations Bob Watson told him that any coach who comes on the field in the middle of an inning will be automatically suspended. He’d already been thrown out by the point he stepped on the field. There was some confusion about what Eckstein was trying to say to Vanover—most of the Nationals’ focus in the incident was trying to prevent Nyjer Morgan from getting thrown out after Vanover called him out at third—but in any case, his stepping on the field triggered the suspension and an undisclosed fine.