Craig Heist, wtop.com VIERA, Fla. - Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang spent the better part of Friday in the team's training room after he strained his left hamstring in the third inning of the game Thursday against the Yankees.
Wang suffered the injury when he tried to field a slow roller between the mound and first base off the bat of Russell Martin. Wang moved off the mound and made a play on the ball and as he picked it up and continued toward the bag, he lost his balance, appeared to roll his ankle and then he fell to the ground.
Wang had to leave the game and is now likely to miss a minimum of two weeks. "After the issues we had the trainers check it and then this morning and I felt about the same as I did yesterday," Wang said through his interpreter. "So far, I don't feel any worse so I think it's okay."
Manager Davey Johnson, speaking to reporters before the Nats game against the Yankees in Tampa, expressed the need for the team to take it slow with this injury just as they have shown caution with some others this spring.
"All I know is it was tested and its pulled or strained or something," Johnson said. "It's probably going to be a couple of weeks, minimum. I don't fool with hamstrings. I had one this spring and I know how debilitating they can be but, if you're going to have any kind of injury at all, a.k.a., Morse, Ankiel, now is the time to have it."
Still, it was scary to watch as replays showed Wang appeared to roll his ankle during the play and also landed on his surgically repaired shoulder.
"All I felt was the hamstring, Wang said. "I didn't feel the ankle rotation or the knee, all I felt was the hamstring."
The Nationals were planning on Wang being their fifth starter in the rotation but it appears depending on how severe the injury is, that role will more than likely go to John Lannan.
Wang doesn't want to rush it and says they will take their time in his rehabilitation to ensure he is 100 percent when he gets back.
"This morning we talked about it and there is no timetable so far," Wang said. "During the first three days, that is the time for any injury so want to treat it as much as we can and then let the team doctor evaluate it a couple of days later and we will see what we can do from there."
Wang certainly knows the outcome could have much worse for him.
"A pulled hamstring muscle is probably the best result for me right now," he said. "If we had another injury, I might need more time to get back. I am just trying to train myself as strong as I can to help my body be able to use those muscles."
Johnson preferred to look at the bright side with Wang's injury
"Even if he was throwing like he did when he won 19 games over here, he was going to line up, so I could protect him, as the fifth starter. So, in reality, if you didn't keep him in line, you're really looking at April 11th.
Nats extend working relations with four minor league affiliates On Friday the Nationals announced they have agreed on a two-year Player Development Contract through the 2012 season with the Syracuse Chiefs of the Triple-A International League, the Harrisburg Senators of the Double-A Eastern League, the Potomac Nationals of the Single-A, Carolina League and the Auburn Doubledays of the Short-season Single-A New-York Penn League.
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