After a throwing session on flat ground before today's game in Miami, Florida's Marlins Park, which was held in lieu of a between-starts bullpen session, Washington Nationals' right-hander Max Scherzer was optimistic about his recovery from the thumb injury he sustained at the plate in Thursday's game against St. Louis, but realistic about the chances that he would make this Tuesday night's scheduled start in Atlanta.
"It's sore," Scherzer said. "I'm dealing with a little sprain in there. I'm progressing every day, so I'm literally day-to-day. I'm making progress every single day from the treatments, doing the hot/cold contrasts non-stop, so for me it's just keep doing the treatments and see where this goes."
The Nats' 30-year-old starter said he couldn't say definitively whether or not he would be able to make his start against the Braves.
"I can't say that because I'm literally day-to-day," Scherzer reiterated. "I'm not ready to rule it out completely, but I also have to be honest with myself, because any time you deal with an injury to your pitching hand, you literally have to be 100% to go back out there. I've dealt with an injury before in college where I had a cut on my middle finger and went back out there and pitched through the pain and two weeks later, I had bicep tendontitis and really kind of almost messed up my shoulder. So, I really respect the fact that you really have to be 100% to go back out there and in this case that's how I'm going to treat it."
Scherzer said he would continue to work and follow the treatment he'd been doing since originally jamming his thumb last Thursday.
"I'm showing progress every single day," he said. "I'm happy where it's come, but I'm literally day-to-day, so it's hard for me to give anything beyond a few hours at a time."
After today's game, however, Matt Williams said it was unlikely that Scherzer would be on the mound on Tuesday.
"We'll get through tomorrow's game and see where we're at, but there are options for us," Williams told reporters, including MASN's Chris Johnson.
"I don't know if Max is gonna make this one, but I would not anticipate at this point - pending further evaluation, further days - that we'd miss a second one. But we'll see."