- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Scott Olsen will have surgery Thursday morning to repair a small tear in his left labrum and will be out for the rest of the season, the left-hander said Monday night.

After meeting with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., earlier in the day, Olsen flew back to the District to meet with team doctor Wiemi Douoguih. Olsen said there was a way he could have rehabbed the injury without surgery, but “everybody seemed to be along the same line of thinking” that surgery was the better option.

Said Douoguih: “Nine times out of 10 this is just a cleanup procedure. We want him back to competition ready. We want to take care of this now.”

Douoguih, who will perform the operation, predicted Olsen could start to throw again in about three months.

Olsen missed five weeks earlier this season with left shoulder tendinitis. He began feeling shoulder pain in his last start of the first half in Houston, and the team bumped him from his scheduled start Friday with a latissimus dorsi strain. The Nationals placed him on the 15-day disabled list Sunday.

“I just didn’t feel normal,” Olsen said. “The day after I pitched in Houston was a hard day. It didn’t get any better Wednesday when I tried to get on the mound.”

Olsen said he hopes to be back in time for the beginning of spring training next season.

“The goal right now would be to be ready for Day One,” Olsen said.

Getting some rest

Riggleman left third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and outfielder Josh Willingham off his lineup card Monday night. Willie Harris replaced Zimmerman at third, and Austin Kearns took Willingham’s spot in right field.

Riggleman attributed the starters’ absence to the Nationals’ tough upcoming schedule. The Nationals do not have a day off until Aug. 10.

“We’ve got 25 straight [games],” Riggleman said. “We are finding a day for each of them to regroup a little bit.”

Riggleman also said the lineup changes would give Kearns, who is hitting .201, a chance to see more playing time.

“We have to give Kearns some at-bats, as opposed to giving him one at-bat,” Riggleman said. “[Giving him one] at-bat is not really giving him a chance to help the club. We really have a lot of regulars that every day can’t get into the lineup.”

Kensing’s back again

Logan Kensing allowed 10 runs on 12 hits in five innings with the Nationals after he was acquired from Florida earlier this season. He was designated for assignment May 15 but was recalled from Class AAA Syracuse on Sunday.

“I was really excited,” Kensing said. “It’s a fresh start.”

With Syracuse, Kensing went 1-1 with a 3.91 ERA. He said his experience there was beneficial.

“It was kind of a clean slate mentally,” he said. “[It was] a chance to get stuff in balance and to work off that.”

Kensing gave up one run on one hit - Jeff Francoeur’s ninth-inning homer - in two innings Monday.

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