Strasburg given a clean bill of health, Werth hoping to play tomorrow

ATLANTA - Davey Johnson expressed concern last night after hearing that Stephen Strasburg had been dealing with some tightness in his forearm during his outing in the Nationals' 3-2 loss to the Braves.

Today, the Nationals feel confident that all is well with their ace right-hander.

General manager Mike Rizzo said that Strasburg has some irritation on his forearm, but reiterated that the Nats expect Strasburg to be able to make his regularly scheduled start on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

"He's healthy, happy and ready to pitch Saturday," Rizzo said. "Not a concern."

Manager Davey Johnson said that electrical impulse machines used on Strasburg's arm prior to his start might have irritated a nerve in the forearm. Strasburg is scheduled to throw his normal side session tomorrow.

Strasburg was seen by the Braves' team doctor and given a "clean bill of health," Rizzo said. The 24-year-old right-hander was not sent in for any additional diagnostic tests.

During last night's game, Strasburg was seen shaking his arm on the mound in between pitches, something that's not uncommon for him. But the frequency of the motion combined with Strasburg's wildness worried Johnson.

"He always (shakes his arm) a little bit, but it was so pronounced yesterday that it really worried me," Johnson said. "But he feels all right about it, so I feel all right about it."

The Nationals will monitor Strasburg closely during his side session tomorrow.

"But the way he finished off the sixth (inning last night), he was pretty impressive," Johnson said. "The doctors didn't think anything was wrong, so that's good."

Jayson Werth, meanwhile, is out of the lineup today after dealing with hamstring cramps and fouling a ball off his left ankle last night.

Werth had the ankle wrapped up today and said that's the bigger issue at this point. The hamstring cramps have subsided. The Nats' right fielder hopes to be in the lineup tomorrow when the Nats face Braves left-hander Paul Maholm.

"I was originally wanting to play (today) if I could, but after talking to Davey, I don't think I had a chance to play either way," Werth said. "I think I'm auditioning for tomorrow. But I'm pretty sore. But I don't think it'll be a big deal.

"I think as the day goes on, it'll loosen up and it'll be all right."

Werth was walking around the clubhouse without much of a limp, but knowing he wasn't going to play tonight, he didn't really test the ankle by doing much running. He's hitting .385 in his career off tonight's Braves starter, Tim Hudson, but won't get a crack at improving those numbers.

"Let's hope that it's nothing serious and after today, he'll be fine," Johnson said. "He knows he hits (Hudson) very well, so he didn't want to miss this game. But I'd rather he miss this game than miss a week or something, two weeks."

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