- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2006

John Patterson isn’t particularly concerned about his pitching numbers when he begins a rehab assignment at Class A Potomac, he just doesn’t want to feel any pain out of his bothersome right forearm.

Patterson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list last Friday, was back in Washington yesterday after throwing three scoreless innings in an intrasquad game Wednesday at the Nationals’ extended spring training camp in Viera, Fla.

“I feel good. It feels like it’s healing up,” Patterson said. “It feels like some of the inflammation and stuff is out of my arm. Now, it’s just building some arm strength.”

The right-hander is coming off a breakout season when he went 9-7 with a 3.13 ERA. Patterson is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 252/3 innings this season.

Two weeks ago, Patterson didn’t believe his forearm, which is the fleshy part inside his elbow, would land him on the DL. The Nationals pushed Patterson’s last start back twice before finally placing him on the DL when it was realized he needed more than a day to get his arm right.

“Giving me a day here and a day there wasn’t going to get rid of it,” said Patterson, who is scheduled to throw around 65 pitches Monday for Potomac. “I needed some rest and it’s the only way to heal an injury like that, to just let the muscles rest and get rid of the inflammation.”

Back to Harrisburg

First baseman/catcher Robert Fick will resume rehabbing at Class AA Harrisburg today.

Fick, who opened the season on the 15-day DL after undergoing right elbow surgery to remove bone chips during spring training, experienced a setback last week and was brought back to Washington to have his right shoulder examined.

Fick will have only 13 rehab days left at Harrisburg since he already has used up a week’s worth when he began his rehab assignment. The Nationals intend to get Fick as many at-bats as possible before his 20 days expire.

“He’s going to lead off, play catcher, first base, right field, and left field,” Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said on how the Senators are going to use Fick. “He’s got 13 days left on rehab because he’s already used seven. It doesn’t start over. The rules say you’ve got to keep going. He’ll lead off for Harrisburg for six straight days.”

Ultimate time

Injured shortstop Cristian Guzman will throw for manager Frank Robinson and Bowden today and try and prove that his torn shoulder is sound enough to play this season.

If Guzman cannot throw sufficiently today, the club will expect him to have surgery immediately on his right shoulder. Guzman tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder during spring training and opened the season on the 15-day DL.

From all reports, Guzman is recuperating pretty well, despite not undergoing surgery. The Nationals appear to be running out of patience and time with Guzman, who has been rehabbing at the club’s extended spring training.

“We’ve given him enough time to work on it, it’s time to find out,” Bowden said. “So, we’re going to find out tomorrow.”

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