The Washington Times - March 23, 2012, 11:48AM

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen was relieved Friday that the results of an MRI taken on his right elbow Thursday showed no structural damage and his ulnar collateral ligament was “completely fine.” Storen had been dealing with biceps/triceps soreness and went for further testing as a precaution but the MRI showed just some inflammation in the elbow joint.

The UCL, the ligament that often requires Tommy John surgery for pitchers, did not show anything abnormal, Storen said, and the plan now is for him to rest, let his anti-inflammatory medicine to its job, and begin tossing in two or three days.

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“It was nothing extremely abnormal, the way I felt,” Storen said. “It just was kind of lingering around more than usual so I just wanted to make sure and do it the right way.

“I knew from talking to other guys who have had elbow stuff, it wasn’t the same, but it’s always in the back of your head.”

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he didn’t anticipate Storen getting on a mound in a game for at least a week but expected him to start some light throwing in two or three days and didn’t anticipate Storen needing to be left off the Opening Day roster.

“He should be fine to open the season.”

While that’s good news for the Nationals, Storen brought up an interesting point as to why he’d be in no rush if things didn’t progress as planned. For the first time Storen not only has a set role and spot on the Nationals’ roster but he also anticipates pitching in meaningful games deep into September and October.

“This year’s a lot different than other years,” Storen said. “We expect to be playing in the playoffs. What’s happening at the end of the year is more important than right now.

“I really care how I’m feeling at the end of the season. If it means taking my time right now, I’m going to do that just do I’m prepared and hopefully can pitch that extra month.”