Nationals Injury Update: Doug Fister Throws From 60 Feet, Feels No Pain

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' Manager Matt Williams updated reporters on the status of recovering pitcher Doug Fister on Saturday, and the 30-year-old right-hander threw for the first time since suffering a lat strain in a minor league game in Florida.

Matt Williams updated reporters on the status of injured right-hander Doug Fister before Saturday afternoon's game with the Atlanta Braves.

The 30-year-old right-hander experienced inflammation in his elbow this spring, then suffered a minor right lat strain in a minor league start after resting the elbow, setting him back further as he works towards making his first start for the Nats who acquired the five-year veteran from the Detroit Tigers last winter.

"Through exercise he feels pretty good," Matt Williams explained. "Again, the test is going to be throwing and extending in a controlled environment." -Attribution goes here (optional)

"Heavy exercise today," Williams said. "And we'll look to get him out there throwing... the plan is tomorrow depending on how he feels, but the next couple of days anyway."

Fister made just two starts this spring, so when he's able to resume his throwing program it will take some time for him to build up arm strength the way pitchers do during Spring Training and Grapefruit League games, but as Williams has noted previously, he won't exactly be starting from scratch.

"I think he's a little bit ahead of the game," the Nats' skipper said. "It's not like it's four months of not [throwing], but in that regard, pitchers during the winter throw as well, I mean, they're doing bullpens in January. So, we just have to see where he's at. He's a little bit ahead of that game, I think."

"Through exercise he feels pretty good," Williams explained. "Again, the test is going to be throwing and extending in a controlled environment."

"When he gets out there and throws the ball and wants to let it go a little bit, that's the determining factor probably. But so far, so good."

According to a report from CSNWashington.com's Chase Hughes this morning, Nats' Pitching Coach Steve McCatty told reporters that Fister threw from sixty feet and felt good afterwards:

Fister will have to build up arm strength as he works towards a return, but he took another important step in that process today.

In his fifth major league season in 2013, the 6'8'' starter finished at +4.6 fWAR, going (14-9) for the Tigers with a 3.67 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 44 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 159 Ks (6.86 K/9) in 33 games, 32 starts and 208 2/3 IP. The Nationals acquired Fister in a 3-for-1 trade that sent 22-year-old lefties Ian Krol and Robbie Ray and 25-year-old utility man Steve Lombardozzi to Detroit.

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