The Washington Nationals’ extended injury list got longer Monday night. A team source confirmed that right-handed reliever Brad Lidge will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a hernia.
Lidge was placed on the disabled list Friday with an abdominal wall strain and visited Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia on Monday. Ryan Perry was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday to take his spot in the bullpen.
Meyers, who performed surgery on Ryan Zimmerman for a torn rectus abdominis last May, is considered the leading expert on injuries of this nature and is expected to perform Lidge’s surgery Tuesday.
Zimmerman underwent surgery on his tear May 3. He returned to the active roster on June 14, but it wasn’t until close to the end of July that Zimmerman felt he was fully back to himself and was able to perform his usual pregame and postgame lifting and workout routine. All told, Zimmerman missed 58 games with the injury.
Lidge told reporters on Friday that he began feeling minor discomfort earlier this season where his abdomen and right groin meet, but he didn’t feel it affected his pitching. Lidge, who has blown two of four save opportunities and allowed four earned runs in seven innings of work, said the pain worsened during a bullpen session on Wednesday in San Diego.
The 35-year-old veteran has a history littered with injuries. He spent much of the 2011 season recovering from a shoulder issue and has dealt with rotator cuff, arm, elbow and knee injuries — to name a few — during the course of his career. He told reporters on Friday that he had never dealt with anything like his current abdominal issue.
The timetable for Lidge’s recovery wasn’t immediately clear, and the Nationals expected to know more on Tuesday, after the procedure was completed. The Washington Post, which first reported Lidge’s impending surgery, cited Lidge’s agent, Rex Gary, in saying Lidge should be able to begin throwing again in three weeks.
The injury to Lidge all but ensures that Henry Rodriguez will remain the Nationals’ primary closer until Drew Storen is healthy and ready to return to the major league roster. Storen, who underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow on April 11, is making progress in his rehab and could begin throwing soft toss this coming week.