- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2007

CHICAGO — Washington Nationals right-hander John Patterson will miss at least a month after being placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with soreness in his right elbow and biceps.

An MRI taken on Patterson’s throwing arm did not reveal any structural damage, but it did show inflammation and fluid in the same elbow that was surgically repaired last summer. He will be shut down for about a week, after which he will begin a throwing program that could see him take the mound again in June.

“We’re talking about probably a month here, at least,” manager Manny Acta said.

The DL stint was perhaps the inevitable conclusion to a frustrating opening month of the season for Patterson, who was hoping to make 30-plus starts after missing nearly all of 2006 but admitted his arm never felt right.

“I didn’t want to spend one day on the DL this year. That was probably my No. 1 goal coming into the season,” said the 29-year-old, who is 1-5 with a 7.47 ERA. “But there comes a point where you just have to do what you have to do. I pushed it as far as I could push it, for as long as I could push it. For that, I’m happy with myself.”

The Nationals don’t need to replace Patterson in the rotation immediately because his next turn would have come Thursday, an off-day for the club. Right-hander Jason Simontacchi, though, is expected to be promoted from Class AAA Columbus in time to start tomorrow’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Guzman, Logan back

Washington will have two injured starters back for the Brewers series. Shortstop Cristian Guzman and center fielder Nook Logan were activated off the 15-day DL following yesterday’s game, and both will be in the lineup tonight in Milwaukee.

Both Guzman (strained left hamstring) and Logan (sprained left foot) were injured Opening Day and had been rehabbing at extended spring training in Viera, Fla., since. Both passed enough physical tests to convince the club they’re ready to return to full-time duty, which should have a positive domino effect for the club.

With Logan back in center field, Ryan Church will move to left, giving Acta his best defensive configuration in the outfield. And with Guzman back at shortstop, Felipe Lopez will move back to second base. That puts veteran infielder Ronnie Belliard on the bench, where he can be called upon for specific, late-inning situations.

“It makes a difference having a little depth on the bench,” Acta said. “But still, I really don’t want to be making my plans on the bench. I want to be winning the game. I don’t want to have to come from behind.”

With Patterson going on the DL, the Nationals needed to clear only one other roster spot to bring back both of the injured position players. Outfielder Michael Restovich was outrighted to Columbus after going 4-for-28 in 15 games.

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