Chien-Ming Wang leaves game after taking awkward fall (updated)

VIERA, Fla. - Chien-Ming Wang was grooving right along, pounding the strike zone and sitting down Yankees hitters.

Then he went down himself.

Wang had to leave today’s game in the third inning after awkwardly landing around first base. The Nationals right-hander moved toward the first-base bag to pick up a chopper off the bat of Yankees catcher Russell Martin, and as he tried to tap the base, his leg buckled.

The veteran hit the ground, landing on his shoulder, but it appeared to be his lower half which was the concern of the Nats training staff.

Wang was immediately pulled from the game and walked off under his own power. Chad Durbin replaced him.

Wang finishes his day having allowed two runs and a hit-by-pitch over 2 2/3 innings. He struck out four, throwing 42 pitches, 29 of which were for strikes. The injury will likely overshadow what was a very impressive outing by Wang, making just his second start of the spring.

He struck out Brett Gardner looking and Andruw Jones swinging in the first inning, then got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second by setting down Ramiro Pena on strikes. Wang struck out Gardner again to start the third inning before having to leave the game.

It would be a shame to see Wang miss any time due to injury after rehabbing so diligently to come back from shoulder problems. I’ll obviously pass along an update on his status as soon as we hear anything.

John Lannan suddenly looks pretty valuable, huh?

Update: The Nationals are calling Wang’s injury a left hamstring strain.

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