- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2006

Here’s the last thing Washington Nationals fans wanted to hear from injured pitcher John Patterson yesterday: “I don’t know when I’m going to pick up a ball again.”

The Nationals don’t expect Patterson, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm, to be out much longer. But there’s no timetable for his return after he experienced lingering soreness following his rehabilitation start Wednesday in Viera, Fla.

Patterson was supposed to make one more rehab start tonight at Class A Potomac before being activated in time to start Saturday against the Atlanta Braves.

But after informing club officials of his continued soreness over the weekend, Patterson was told to cancel his scheduled start and spend the next week or so resting his arm.

“We’re not going to rush him,” Nationals trainer Tim Abraham said. “We want him for the long haul because he’s very important for the organization.”

Patterson hasn’t pitched in a major league game since April 21, when he struck out eight in 72/3 innings to beat the Braves. He was eligible to come off the DL yesterday but now figures to be at least another 10 days from returning. The club announced Saturday night Patterson would make another rehab start May 13 but backed off that yesterday and said the date of his next start was undetermined.

“It’s time to give this an extended period of rest,” manager Frank Robinson said.

The Nationals insist the injury, which involves only a muscle, requires nothing more than rest. And Patterson said he still could pitch and fight through the soreness.

“It’s not keeping me from doing anything, but there’s still some soreness in there,” he said. “So they want to give me some extra time to get rid of the soreness. If it’s still sore, then there’s obviously something still going on.”

Shoulder hampers Tex

The reason for Gary Majewski’s struggles this season became clearer yesterday with the news the reliever has tendinitis in his right shoulder.

Robinson said yesterday Majewski wasn’t available out of the bullpen the previous two nights because of the ailment. The right-hander has a 4.50 ERA in 15 games and has been struggling with his location, and that may be a product of the injury.

“Maybe a little bit,” Majewski said. “It’s one of those things where it’s overworked. I came back from the [World Baseball Classic] and fired it up pretty quick. The first week of the season, I threw quite a bit and tried to go too hard too quick. Just like anything else — you overwork it and it’s not ready, something’s going to go wrong.”

Majewski said he first started noticing something wrong about “two or three weeks ago” but said he had been able to pitch with it. He first mentioned it to trainers Friday, which prompted them to give him a precautionary MRI.

That test came back showing no structural damage, and Majewski was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis.

He was available to pitch yesterday, but Robinson said he wanted to avoid using him if possible. The manager also wished Majewski had informed the club sooner about the problem.

“Tell guys,” Robinson said. “Don’t try to hide it.”

Extra bases

Catcher Brian Schneider, who departed Saturday night’s game with a tight left hamstring, was available only in an emergency yesterday but said he will be ready to start tomorrow against the Cincinnati Reds. Schneider would have sat yesterday anyway with Pirates left-hander Zach Duke on the mound. …

Marlon Anderson recorded his first pinch-hit since Opening Day when he beat out a drag bunt in the sixth inning. Anderson, signed to a two-year contract over the winter specifically for his pinch-hitting prowess, had no hits in his last 15 at-bats off the bench with three walks and a hit-by-pitch.

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