The Washington Times - March 18, 2013, 02:28PM

VIERA, Fla. — Christian Garcia visited with hand/wrist specialist Dr. Ken Means over the weekend in the Baltimore-Washington area, and while Means was greatly encouraged by the healing progress in Garcia’s right wrist, he wants him to rest for two more weeks before resuming baseball activities.

“He said it was way better than he thought it was going to look like,” Garcia said Monday morning. “He said the swelling was almost all out and the second MRI looked a lot better.

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“It was a huge improvement from the first one, so it’s good. He just said I still wasn’t ready to go out there and rush it, and possibly have a setback and have to start all over again.”

Garcia said the doctor found there was still some soreness in his flexor when they ran physical tests on him, and while he’s been largely pain free for several days now, he understands the cautious approach. 

It’s still frustrating for the talented right-hander who came into camp with the Nationals planning to stretch him into a starter or keep him as another power righty in their bullpen. The injury, which he believes occurred during one of the Nationals’ first workouts on a cold day, hasn’t changed those plans.

The Nationals would still prefer to stretch Garcia out and have him as insurance for their starting rotation, but he will likely be out until at least May, it seems, with this latest prognosis.

Garcia maintained that he has no preference, starting or relieving, saying only that he’d prefer to do “whichever one’s going to get me to the big leagues.”