When things wrapped up for the day on Monday, Washington Nationals' Manager Matt Williams still hadn't heard about the results of the MRI on reliever Ryan Mattheus' chest. The 30-year-old right-hander felt a pull in his chest/ribs while jogging which led to him being held out of workouts.
"It's an interesting spot. It's kind of chest, front, which is odd," Williams said. "So we're going to have to find out exactly what it is and then take the steps accordingly to get it taken care of, but at this point we just don't know."
By the morning, multiple reports, including one by the Washington Post's James Wagner, said the diagnosis was, "costochondritis, the inflammation of the joint between the joint that connects the sternum and ribs." Mattheus was told he would be held out of action until the pain subsided, but he was given no timetable.
Williams talked about the situation when he met with reporters after today's workouts.
"It's where the rib head hits the cartilage and it's irritated," he explained. "So, what he's doing right now, he's doing all the conditioning stuff that they've got him on. Certainly trying to let it calm down. He'll continue to do that.
"They'll monitor him on how he feels on an everyday basis, and then he's going to have to get back into his throwing program. Don't really know how long it's going to be, because it's just an irritation of that area. It's kind of an odd one. But, we'll just make sure that he's good-to-go when he's good-to-go and see where we're at from there."
"The good thing is that they know what it is and how to treat it and how to rehab it," Williams said. "So, that's what we know right now, but he'll just continue to progress."
Williams did say that it wasn't likely to affect the Nationals' ability to get a read on Mattheus this spring as he battle for a spot in the bullpen.
"Not in the least," he said. While they want to get him back on the mound as soon as possible, "... we have to make sure that we look out for his best interests too. And, so, again, it could be any day that he says, 'Oh boy, I feel a lot better and then we'll just progress back to where he was when he had a strain of that area."