SAN FRANCISCO — After getting what Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson called “kind of an alarming report” on Jayson Werth following another MRI on his strained right hamstring, it appears the right fielder’s return will be delayed even further than the start of the team’s upcoming homestand.
“Our doctors say that he’s going to be a while longer,” Johnson said Monday afternoon at AT&T Park. “I think he was rushing it. And hearing from Jayson, he felt like it was a slight strain he could play through. He’s starting to realize that your hamstring is going to take a little more time.
“He doesn’t want something to happen to him like it happened to Wilson Ramos.”
Werth, who has not played in a major league game since May 2, was hopeful when he first went on the disabled list that he’d be ready to return as soon as possible on May 18.
After one rehab game last week, though, the spasming in his hamstring returned and the outfielder has spent the past several days visiting with specialists in New York and Chicago to determine the root of the issue and get treatment. The next target was Friday.
That now appears unrealistic as well.
Johnson said the plan currently is for Werth to get a good deal of rest. He couldn’t put a firm timetable on how much longer Werth may need before he makes his return to the Nationals’ lineup, which could certainly use his presence.
Asked if he thought it might be as long as another month, Johnson said “No, no.”
“I’d say probably two weeks,” he said. “But I don’t know. It depends on how it progresses and whatever. The problem is, he hasn’t had much rest. He went to play and he’s running and stressing it. He hasn’t had a rest period. We’re just going to have to back off him.”
When the decision was made to put him on it, Werth was frustrated when he had to succumb to the disabled list. He’d been really hoping that he could avoid it with just a few days off.
But the issue has become far more significant than it ever seemed at the outset.
“I think it’s a little bit (stunning that it’s taken this long),” Johnson said. “There was that mix-up: was it being caused by dehydration or did he really hurt something? We never did figure that out.
“(But) obviously he does have a strain in his hamstring and it’s going to take some time.”