Right-hander Tyler Walker, who has been dealing with shoulder trouble for the last several weeks and has been on the disabled list since late June, said he will see Dr. James Andrews on Thursday and will most likely have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum on Friday.
Walker said he'd hope to be throwing off a mound by spring training and be in games by April. There's still a chance he wouldn't have the surgery, but an injury that started as a sprained AC joint has gotten so painful that Walker isn't able to sleep on his right side or lift his arm to take a drink of water.
"Day-to-day things, my shoulder clicks. That's not really normal," Walker said. "It's worse than it was."
Walker, who has a 3.57 ERA in 24 appearances this season, improved throughout the year after struggling all spring and through April. He signed a one-year, $650,000 deal with the Nationals in the off-season, and were the team to resign him, it would have to do so knowing there's a good chance the 34-year-old Walker could still be out by Opening Day.
He had the surgery once before -- on Oct. 23, 2000, when he was a prospect in the Mets' organization. Walker relayed the news to reporters with his typically droll sense of humor, saying he's headed in to "rotate the tires" after 10 years and recalling where he was the day after surgery, sitting behind Andre Dawson during Game 3 of the World Series between the Mets and Yankees at Shea Stadium.
But even Walker sounded a little doubtful about the recovery process. "Hopefully there's a next season," he said.