Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is out of surgery after breaking his left wrist sliding to make a catch, similar to an injury that forced him to miss the entire 2006 Major League Baseball season.
Werth, 32, broke his non-throwing wrist when his glove got caught behind him on an attempt to snag a low line drive, manager Davey Johnson said yesterday after the team’s 9-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
He underwent successful surgery today at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, team spokesman John Dever said in an e- mailed release. Rehabilitation will begin immediately, and the outfielder is expected to begin strengthening exercises six weeks from now, when the fracture has healed, according to the release.
Werth broke the same wrist in 2005 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and missed the 2006 season because of complications from the injury. This break is in a different part of the wrist than his previous injury, Dever said.
Werth initially made the catch in yesterday’s game in Washington on the drive off the bat of Placido Polanco, then the ball came out of his glove when his wrist bent backward. He rolled the ball into the infield while clutching his left arm and was immediately removed from the game.
The Nationals are 18-10, in first place in the National League East division and tied with Los Angeles for the NL’s best record. The team hasn’t made the playoffs in the seven full seasons it has played in Washington.
The outfielder signed a seven-year deal with the Nationals worth $126 million dollars, according to ESPN, following a 2010 season in which he batted .296 with 27 home runs and 85 runs batted in as a member of the Phillies. In 27 games this season, he is hitting .276 with three home runs and 12 RBI.
Werth’s injury might mean increased playing time for 19- year-old outfielder Bryce Harper, who was called up to the team last month when third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list. Zimmerman is expected to return this week, according to MLB.com.
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