The Washington Times - July 26, 2011, 07:55PM

Nationals right-hander Cole Kimball was in the clubhouse Tuesday afternoon, his right arm in a sling, but in relatively good spirits after undergoing season-ending rotator cuff surgery over the All-Star break. 

Kimball is at the start of a very long recovery process — one that he said won’t see him at 100 percent until roughly the 2012 All-Star break. He will not be ready by spring training.

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“It’s going to be a long time without a ball,” Kimball said. “I was told I won’t be 100 percent until the All-Star break. It’s a very long process.”

He was, however, optimistic about his chances for a full recovery from the surgery, which was the same procedure performed on Pedro Martinez at age 39, by the same doctor, Dr. David Altchek. It was a simple procedure, Kimball said, that required one anchor and two sutures in the shoulder. The recovery is lengthy but, he said, it’s a lower-risk operation.

Kimball was unsure where he would spend the majority of his offseason. For now, he plans to spend his time in Washington rehabbing but said he will most likely go home at night before the games start so as to stay out of the way. He’d been watching on television while the Nationals were on their most recent road trip, rooting for his friends and teammates. 

Kimball said by the time he’s ready to pick up a ball and begin throwing, he will most likely be in Florida, under club supervision from “throw No. 1 to game ready.”