Werth discusses his groin injury, Haren discusses landing on the DL

The last time Jayson Werth had to leave a game due to an injury, he said that he didn't think it was too serious and hoped he wouldn't need to land on the disabled list.

The tightness that had popped up in Werth's right hamstring hung around for a while, and he eventually needed to miss 28 games while rehabbing the hamstring on the DL.

The hope is that this time, the pulled left groin that Werth suffered in today's 7-6 loss to the Rockies doesn't pose nearly as much of a problem. Werth missed yesterday's game with the flu, and feels that the illness ended up playing a factor in his pulled groin today, because it left him dehydrated and a little prone to muscle issues.

"It started out as more of a cramp, but I stayed in the game and felt a little bit worse than a cramp," Werth said. "After I got that hit (in the fourth inning), which I think usually a ball like that, if it's not a double, I'm definitely around the bag hard, and when I went to go, it just felt a little worse. So at that point, I didn't really feel like I could help my team anymore so I came out of the game.

"I got some treatment, got looked at by the doctors and I'll know more tomorrow, but I think I'll be all right. Groins are pretty straightforward. I've had a couple of them in the past, but I didn't miss any time so I hope that'll be the case."

Werth doesn't expect to undergo an MRI on the groin. He said he already felt better when talking to reporters after the game than he had after his fourth-inning single, and hopes that this will be more of a short-term ailment.

"You play this game every day, you play in the heat and you got to go through things," Werth said. "You play when you're dehydrated, you play no matter what. Unfortunately the last few times I've chosen to do that, I've tweaked or pulled a muscle. But hopefully this time, it won't be that big of a deal. I'll be back in there on Wednesday, I hope, or whatever day. Tuesday."

Meanwhile, Dan Haren admitted after today's game that he's been dealing with some shoulder stiffness for his last few starts, an injury which will land him on the DL.

The veteran right-hander has missed very few starts in his career due to injury and had hoped to pitch through the discomfort this time, but the Nationals convinced Haren to go on the DL in order to get fully healthy and allow him a chance to work on some mechanical issues that have left him ineffective this season.

"My shoulder's been bugging me the last two, three starts," Haren said. "Nothing really major at all, nothing I haven't pitched through in the past. I'm not really concerned about it, but they wanted me to take some time to get 100 percent. Definitely don't want to use this as an excuse for the first three months of the season. That was more due to lack of execution, instead of an injury.

"From a team standpoint, we talked it over this morning for a while, and they want me to get back to 100 percent. That said, a lot of starting pitchers, most starting pitchers, aren't pitching at 100 percent. There's always some dings, some aches and pains, but in my case they wanted me to get back to feeling 100 percent, so they wanted to give me some time, so get my shoulder loosened up a bit I guess."

Haren will probably get an MRI on the shoulder in the next couple days, but said that he doesn't expect there to be anything structurally wrong. He added that his back (which landed him on the DL last season) feels better than it did at any point last year, and his hip (which has been a minor issue for years now) feels the same as it always has when he's been pitching.

He won't make excuses for his major league-worst 6.15 ERA, but does admit that the shoulder might have affected him when on the mound, be it with his mechanics or overall stuff.

"It could have at certain points," Haren said. "Yesterday, in the last inning, I was out there, I think my velocity was really dropping. I was a little bit concerned. You'd have to go back and check. But I knew the first pitch I threw of the inning was a base hit up the middle and didn't really have much on the ball. And that was more of it: Just between innings, as the game went along, just kind of was stiffening up on me. In between starts, it was harder for me to bounce back.

"So, you know, it's probably smart to get some rest and medication and stuff, or a shot, or something. I haven't really gotten that far yet. To try to get 100 percent. ... Overall I don't feel that bad health-wise. Hopefully this will be a little time and then back."

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