The Washington Times - July 20, 2009, 10:50PM

Left-hander Scott Olsen’s shoulder injury isn’t as bad as the Nationals feared when an MRI showed “labrum issues,” but it will require surgery that will cause the 25-year-old to miss the rest of the year.

Team doctor Wiemi Douoguih said Monday night that Olsen has a small tear in his left labrum. Douoguih will perform surgery Thursday morning that will keep Olsen out for three months and cause him to miss the rest of the season.

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Olsen said “there was a route” that would have allowed him to rehab the injury without surgery, but added the procedure would have likely needed to be done at some point in his career.

He missed five weeks earlier this season with left shoulder tendinitis and started feeling shoulder problems during his July 10 start in Houston, his third start since coming off the DL, and was bumped from his scheduled start last Friday. The Nationals put Olsen on the DL on Sunday with a strained left lat muscle, and sent him to Birmingham, Ala., to see noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday.

“Everybody seems to be along the same line of thinking, so we’re going to go ahead and have some surgery done,” Olsen said. “Hopefully we can build it back up and get ready for next year.”

Douoguih said there was no way to tell whether the injury was connected to the tendinitis Olsen had earlier this season, and said “nine times out of 10, this is just a cleanup procedure.”

If that’s the case, Olsen can resume baseball activities in three months. If there are more problems in his shoulder, that date could be pushed back. But that was part of the reason, he said, to take care of the surgery now so Olsen can be ready for the first day of spring training.

“The goal right now would be to be ready for Day 1 of spring training next year, be good, ready to go, fully healthy,” Olsen said. “The longer we debate what to do, it could push that back. So it’s probably better now to get it done and out of the way.”