Zimmerman gets another cortisone shot, offseason surgery possible

It's been nearly three months since Ryan Zimmerman had the cortisone shot which turned around his season. Today, Zimmerman is getting another dose of cortisone to help his ailing right shoulder.

Manager Davey Johnson said today that Zimmerman will get another cortisone shot before today's game, his fourth such shot this season. Minor offseason surgery to clean up the shoulder is a possibility, Johnson said.

Zimmerman's shoulder inflammation has been bothering him a bit recently, and he's decided to get the shot now to hopefully help him stay pain-free the rest of this season.

"It's not near as bad (as it was), but it's been acting up a little bit here lately," Johnson said.

Ryan-Zimmerman-hit2.jpg"I think the difference between this one and the (shot he got) in Baltimore is that he wants the cortisone shot now," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "But in Baltimore, he needed the cortisone shot to perform up to his standards."

The shot that Zimmerman is receiving will give him a slow-acting type of cortisone which should last him for the rest of the season.

In the broader picture, the Nationals have discussed the idea of Zimmerman undergoing surgery on the shoulder this offseason, a procedure which would likely just be to clean up the A/C joint which has been giving him trouble.

"It would just be a short clean-up with a short rehab, and he'd certainly be ready for whenever spring training begins," Rizzo said.

If the results after today's cortisone shot are anything like what we saw after Zimmerman got the shot back on June 24, the Nats will get some major offensive production down the stretch.

In the 75 games Zimmerman has played since the June 24 shot, he's hitting .332 with 19 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .994 OPS. Average those numbers over the course of a full season and Zimmerman is the clear National League MVP.

"He's playing great, as far as I'm concerned," Johnson said. "But the results from the last time we did it were so good, he felt so much better."

Johnson said that Zimmerman will likely only play the first of the two games today to make sure the shoulder isn't overworked.

Danny Espinosa (bone bruise in his left shoulder) and Michael Morse (left wrist) will also probably get the second game off, although Johnson said that Espinosa is trying to talk his way into the lineup for the nightcap.

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