The Washington Times - March 27, 2011, 10:24PM

The Nationals received the results of an MRI done on first baseman Adam LaRoche’s left shoulder and they confirmed a small tear in the labrum, the team announced via its twitter account late Sunday night. The tear was first reported by MLB.com, though it was then reported as a rotator cuff tear.

The results will have no impact on LaRoche’s status. He received a cortisone shot and is still expected to be the team’s designated hitter on Monday when they travel to Orlando to play the Braves, and back in the lineup at first base on Tuesday. His availability for opening day on Thursday is not in question.

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LaRoche has been hampered by a sore shoulder all spring, though the pain had improved after he rested it during the first week of spring games. It does not affect LaRoche at the plate, only when trying to “cut it loose” on throws. LaRoche had the MRI on Wednesday and was shut down from throwing on Friday for a few days.

He said then that he’d have no issues playing through it and the MRI results have not changed that stance. It is not considered serious at this time.

“If this was the pain I felt during the season, this wouldn’t even be a question,” LaRoche said Friday. “I probably wouldn’t even bring it up. I’d go out ther eand play and it would hinder me from throwing a little bit, but no big deal.”

“If it felt as bad as it did when I first got here to spring training I would still play Opening Day,” he added. “And it’s gotten a lot better since then. I don’t think it’s going to be 100 percent anytime soon, but hopefully I can get it up a little bit from what it is now.”

Many Nationals’ fans will recall third baseman Ryan Zimmerman missing significant time in 2008 due to a labral tear but where there’s significantly less throwing required at first base than at third base and it does not affect LaRoche while batting, the first baseman doesn’t anticipate it being an issue.