Kearns seeing specialist; Zim may get big-league start
Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns is expected to see Dr. Thomas Graham in Baltimore on Thursday to check on his right thumb. On that day, it will be determined if Kearns needs surgery.
“It started out as a bruise or contusion. It wasn’t getting better,” said Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the Nationals’ medical director. “It’s a possibility that he needs surgery, but I don’t want to speculate.”
In retrospect, interim manager Jim Riggleman believes Kearns’ thumb has been bothering him off and on this season. Kearns was not available for comment.
Kearns has had thumb problems dating back to his Minor League days with the Reds. In 2001, Kearns suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb and missed most of the season.
Three years later, scar tissue, a lesion and bone spur had to be removed from his thumb.
As for right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, the team has not decided where he will make his next start — the big leagues or the minors.
Zimmermann was scheduled to pitch four innings on Tuesday for Class-A Potomac, but he pitched 3 1/3 innings. He left the game because a line drive hit Zimmermann on the back of the left leg in the fourth inning. He is expected to be OK and have a bullpen session on Friday.
If he pitches in the big leagues, Zimmerman will likely start against the Braves on Tuesday.
“We won’t know until after he has his bullpen session the day after tomorrow,” Riggleman said.
Zimmerman is on the disabled list because of a sore right elbow. Every time he pitches, he feels tightness in the elbow.
“It’s tight. I don’t know how to describe it,” Zimmermann said.