VIERA, Fla. — Christian Garcia has an official diagnosis for the pain and tightness he’s been feeling in his right forearm/wrist area: a partially torn tendon.
The Washington Nationals’ right-hander will be held off from all activity for at least another few days to a week and, at this point, the timetable for when he’ll be able to resume full activity is unclear. Nationals medical director Wiemi Douoguih told Garcia this weekend that they will wait until he is entirely pain free before they will clear him.
“It’s just a matter of how long it takes the body to heal,” manager Davey Johnson said Sunday. “The body is pretty good at healing.”
Garcia has not thrown in about 10 days and the pain he was feeling has lessened significantly. But Douoguih did various tests on Garcia, including pushing on the spot that has been bothering him, and he could feel the pain. Until that goes away, they will continue to treat him and hold him out from activities.
That could, conceivably, put making the Opening Day roster in jeopardy for Garcia.
When Garcia first felt the tightness, the Nationals sent his MRI to a hand specialist in Baltimore and the diagnosis from that doctor was that it would take about 4-6 weeks to fully heal — but that it’s all about how Garcia feels and how quickly the pain goes away.
Garcia was in an interesting position in camp even before the injury with the Nationals hoping to stretch him out into a starter and, when the time came to finalize the roster, deciding whether they’d like to keep him as depth or if they needed his abilities as a reliever.
Those plans don’t appear to have changed, even with the setback.
“He should still be stretched out,” Johnson said. “He’s a big machine. Having him do one inning everyday is just as stressful as having one day, pitching three or four innings, or four or five innings. But it’s all about building to that point.
“There’s still a lot of time for him to go back (and build up). He’s got to do a couple ‘pens, got to throw to hitters again, he’s got to get off the restrictions from the medical team before we do it so he’s got to be fully healed.”