Nationals closer Drew Storen was at Nationals Park with his arm in a sling and in good spirits following surgery to remove a loose body in his right elbow that was causing him severe pain. Storen said the experience has been a new one for him as he has never even suffered a broken arm growing up.
"The whole not being able to use one arm is kind of weird," Storen said. "Putting on socks is not exactly easy."
General manager Mike Rizzo said the surgery went as well as expected and feels Storen will be back this season.
"We feel good about where we are at with Drew," Rizzo said. "We finally got the particle out of his elbow so we knew that was the problem. When Dr. (Wiemi) Douoguih was in there, the elbow looked pristine. It looked really, really good. The ligament (was) intact. Everything else looked very clean in there."
Rizzo said the team was relieved that they found what the problem was and fixed it permanently.
"(Storen) got the scope and (we) took care of the chip," Rizzo said. "(Former Nationals pitcher Jason) Marquis went through it and a lot of players go through these chip removals and pitch effectively in that same year. We feel that he will rehab and do his thing and be back on the mound sometime this season."
"I was pretty confident it wasn't going to be anything more than (a bone chip)," Storen said. "There is always that possibility when they go in there that they see something. So, when I woke up and they said that it was quick and easy and what they expected, it was a big relief. Now, I have a good plan of attack. I know what the problem was and it got fixed. Now, it is about just getting back."
Storen said relying on players like Marquis and current teammate Craig Stammen, who have gone through the identical procedure, will help him cope with what lies ahead and what he will need to do each day.
"I was just talking to Stammen about it," Storen said. "There are a lot of guys have gone through this. Stammen talked about how great he felt after he got it done. I am pretty excited about that."
Storen knows the rehab schedule will be tough for his unbridled personality of always trying to get better and give 110 percent. He said going through this experience will have another positive effect: it will help him mature as a major league baseball player.
"It is going to be brutal," Storen said. "But at the same time that drive is kind of good. The big thing I have learned all this year is big picture stuff. I want to be back this year and be me. It is something little you have to do every day. That doesn't really go with my personality of getting after it with max effort. It is all about growing up a little bit. It is going to be a good thing for me."