Herrera likely done for season, Madson could return as closer

PHILADELPHIA - The Nationals have reinstated right-hander Ryan Madson and placed right-hander Kelvin Herrera back on the 10-day disabled list with a Lisfranc torn ligament in his left foot.

Normal recovery time for a Lisfranc torn ligament is six to eight weeks, and that is just in the walking boot. Manager Davey Martinez believes the injury is season-ending.

“Yeah, I would assume so,” Martinez said. “Like I said, he did tear a ligament in his foot. We have no timetable. Unfortunately, he’s going to miss some time. I understand he’s going to get a second opinion. The MRI revealed a tear but he wants to get a second opinion before deciding what to do.”

Herrera suffered the injury in the ninth inning of the Nats 15-0 win over the Mets.

“It was painful yesterday during the game, overnight too,” Herrera said. “Little swelling. So, it was unfortunate. As soon as I land I saw the ground ball and I tried to get it and I feel like it was twisted, but I still got the out. It was a high price for it.

“I consider this like bad luck. Just got off the 10-day DL with a shoulder problem and now the foot was hurt, so it’s tough. So frustrated.”

Martinez said this new injury has to feel incredibly disappointing for Herrera because he just got back from the disabled list with the shoulder issue. Martinez said Herrera probably feels like there is unfinished business with his new team after accruing 14 saves with the Royals to begin the season, and then just three so far with the Nats since making his debut June 19.

“Yeah, it’s awful,” Martinez said. “I feel terrible because he’s a big part of our success here and what we do. For me, it’s a foot injury and it’s not his arm or something that’s going to hold him back.” But Martinez does see a silver lining for Herrera for next season.

“And he’s a free agent, so I know he’s concerned about that. But I told him, ‘Look at it this way: It’s not your arm. It’s your foot. As soon as you get it taken care of, you’ll be pitching again and your arm will be strong, and you will be good to go.’”

With Herrera and Sean Doolittle out, does Madson then become the de facto closer? Martinez says maybe: depends on game situation.

“We will see right now,” Martinez said. “But (Greg) Holland is pitching really well. (Wander) Suero is pitching well. All these guys. (Jimmy) Cordero really hasn’t pitched in a few days but he has thrown the ball well too. We will have to play and see. If the matchups are right, yeah, I could see Madson throwing the ninth inning, but we’ll see. I kind of want to ease his way back into this whole deal instead of just throwing him in the fire, but we’ll see how the game goes.”

madson-deals-gray-sidebar.jpgMadson made good progress since his stay on the disabled list began Aug. 14. He was suffering from a lumbar root nerve irritation. He said his rehab bullpen session this week was the best he had felt on the mound this season.

“Yeah, it felt great. First 10 pitches were probably the 10 best pitches I’ve thrown all year,” Madson noted. “So, I was pleasantly surprised. Got a little fatigued after that and tried to do a little too much, but it was a good.

“Emotions were high so it was game-like. So, I feel very confident that going into today that I’d be fine and went out and played catch again. Felt great. 100 percent effort. So I feel very lucky to be back.”

Madson did not know what was causing the painful nerve irritation. So he turned to Jay Schroeder, Madson’s personal trainer at EVO UltraFit in Phoenix. Schroeder broke down in slow motion on video the hurler’s mechanics and found the problem.

“He’s amazing. Going in there, the best way I can describe it is he is a really good car mechanic,” Madson said. “So, my car was sputtering. He diagnosed the problem. Took a couple of days, diagnosed the problem. Basically, was a functionality problem. He noticed I wasn’t moving properly. Through his pad placements, figured out how to get me to move correctly.”

Martinez was happy that Madson was able to return, but of course, not at the expense of Herrera.

“Yeah, I mean he says he feels good,” Martinez said. “Unfortunately, the timing was good but I would love to have them both. But getting Ryan back definitely helps.”

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