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Will Koda Glover be able to get healthy and contribute to the Nationals’ 2019 bullpen?

Koda Glover got relatively good news on his right elbow after he experienced stiffness and underwent an MRI...

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s just a forearm strain,” Koda Glover told reporters after getting the results of an MRI on his right arm following a rough outing in which the reliever struggled to throw strikes and felt some tightness in his elbow.

“Nothing crazy,” he added. “UCL was great. That’s good news. It’s just one of them things where we think maybe some weakness in there or some fatigue, but I’ll be fine. I’m really not that worried about it at all. I think it’s good.”

Glover, 25, tried to apply some advice from Max Scherzer this winter, throwing more than he normally would as he attempted to get himself ready for the new season after another injury-filled campaign last summer.

“He worked hard all winter, so he looks good right now,” manager Davey Martinez said early in Spring Training.

“With Koda, if you don’t know Koda, he’s 150% every time he does something. So we might have to pull the reins back a little bit, and figure out how many innings we want to give him down here, maybe let him throw less than what he’s typically thrown, because he wants to throw a lot, and just to get him ready to break camp.”

When Glover experienced the tightness in his elbow in his first outing, Martinez said that it was the right approach to be cautious and look at the big picture, which the Nationals are hoping includes the hard-throwing reliever contributing in the 2019 bullpen.

“With Koda’s history,” Martinez said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, “we want to make sure that it’s right, and for his mindset as well.

“The biggest thing for me - and you guys know Koda - he’s all-in 24 hours a day. So you just kind of want to make sure he does everything properly and we go through all the channels before we get him back on the mound.”

Glover’s injury history includes Tommy John surgery before he was drafted, a torn labrum in his hip, back and shoulder issues which have limited his availability over the first three years of his MLB career, and now the forearm strain.

Having had Tommy John surgery already, Glover and the Nationals were happy to see that the elbow ligament was intact.

“It’s been seven years since I’ve even had anything wrong with my elbow,” the reliever said.

“I’d forgotten what it felt like and stuff. Y’all seen how the game went. Had no command, velo was down, and the stiffness was there, so that’s a clear indication that we needed to shut it down and, you know re-evaluate things.”

“As far as how I’m feeling today, I feel pretty good for the most part. We’re just going to take it slow, be patient with it, knowing my track record.”

If there are positives to be taken from the situation, in addition to the relatively good news on the MRI, it’s that both Glover and the Nationals recognized there was an issue and they acted quickly to make sure it didn’t get worse.

“Experienced some stiffness,” Glover explained when asked what actually happened on the mound before the elbow became an issue and led to him issuing three straight walks.

“[Pitching Coach Derek Lilliquist] came out and asked how it was, I told him, so we shut it down,” Glover said. “We’re not going to push through anything early, knowing my track record and how my arm has been the past year and a half. So we’re just going to shut it down, take it slow and prepare for the season.”

Before the injury, Glover said, he felt fine, and the elbow wasn’t a problem until he took the mound for his Grapefruit League debut.

“I’ve been feeling phenomenal” he said. “We’ve talked about it. I’ve been feeling the best I’ve felt in two years. And the ball was coming out great getting loose, coming out great, first pitch, coming out hot. It happened on one pitch, a changeup.

“I don’t know if I threw it wrong, whatever. But then after that, it kept getting more and more stiff, so we shut it down. Being smart.”

“I’ve learned at this point how to deal with this stuff,” Glover said. “That’s what I was talking about, learning from these older guys, is when to shut it down, when to be smart. So that’s what we’re doing. I think I’ll be ready for the season, no doubt. I’m not worried about it at all.”