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Clippard returns, Mattheus to have MRI on chest

Monday - 2/24/2014, 5:28pm  ET

VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- Washington Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard has returned from a bad back, but bullpen hopeful Ryan Mattheus is scheduled for an MRI on his chest.

Clippard had not thrown in five days because of tightness in his back. The righty setup man said he felt fine after an 8-minute bullpen session Monday.

Mattheus says began experiencing discomfort following a bullpen session last Tuesday, and that it bothers him when he takes a deep breath, coughs or sneezes, or even rolls over in bed. The right-hander thinks he should only be out two weeks at most.

"It's kind of painful," he said.

The MRI set for Monday will determine whether the problem is a strained muscle or cartilage inflammation. Mattheus is competing for one of two open spots in Washington's bullpen.

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