FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal was first with the reports on Thursday afternoon that Washington Nationals' outfielder Jayson Werth would undergo arthroscopic surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder.
Werth spoke to MLB.com's Bill Ladson via email last night, telling the Nationals beat reporter that after the initial injury in August, and an MRI and cortisone shot at the time, he played the season out and then rested, hoping that he would be able to avoid surgery:
"'There was hope that [the shoulder] would heal with time and treatment. I pretty much did everything legally possible to not have surgery but, in the end, surgery was the best course of action with the 2015 season and beyond in mind...'"
Werth said there was no damage to the "major shoulder tissue," labrum or rotator cuff, and told Ladson he would work hard to get back in time to help the Nationals in 2015:
"'I will continue to work and play hard for my city, my teammates and all Nat fans with the hopes of bringing a title home to D.C.,' Werth said. 'I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support as we work diligently through this process. Go Nats.'"
The Nationals reported on Twitter this afternoon the the surgical procedure was completed and "no structural abnormalities" were found:
#Nats OF Jayson Werth underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right AC joint today: pic.twitter.com/dFWFMxdZC1— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 9, 2015
Werth missed a week after suffering the intitial injury this past summer, but avoided a DL stint and put up a .339/.473/.542 line with 10 doubles and four home runs over his last 150 plate appearances of the regular season. The 35-year-old veteran went 1 for 17 with three walks and five strikeouts in the Nats' NLDS loss to the San Francisco Giants.
The two-to-three month window for recovery could have Werth ready for the start of his fifth season in the nation's capital.
In spite of the news of Werth's injury, a need at second base, and rumors that the Nationals have inquired about Tampa Bay Rays' infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist, FOXSports.com's Rosenthal wrote last night that, "... the Nats are not actively pursuing Zobrist, according to major-league sources," and the Nationals, "... mindful that Zobrist is entering his free-agent year, consider the price to be too high, sources say."
Will the injury force the Nationals to reevaluate their position? When can we expect to see Werth back at full-strength?
Do the Nats need to make a move in case the recovery is not as quick as hoped, or can they get by with Nate McLouth, Tyler Moore or Michael Taylor until Werth is 100% recovered?
The Nationals, before the news that Werth needed surgery, made the decision to move the veteran outfielder to left field with Bryce Harper switching over to right to take advantage of the 22-year-old outfielder's arm.