Nationals starter Doug Fister threw two innings - a total of 28 pitches – on Thursday at extended spring training in Viera, Fl. as he continues his rehab from a right lat strain.
Manager Matt Williams expects Fister to make another appearance in Florida before beginning a minor league rehab assignment.
“No issues,” Williams said. “He felt good about it. Reports are that his second inning was better than his first inning, which is a good sign. The plan is that he’ll be on normal rest, five day-type rest, and do it again. He’ll increase it to three innings, 45 pitches and then from there look at rehab assignments. It all went good.”
The schedule Williams laid out would set up a return around 20 days from now. That would put Fister’s total absence to begin the season somewhere between five and six weeks.
Williams hopes to get Fister a start of five innings in the minors before bringing him to Washington.
“We gotta build him like we would build him in spring. I think he’s a little ahead of the game in that regard. I would certainly like him to get five innings somewhere, at least, until he can up that pitch count,” Williams said.
“We can push him back a day or two it he’s sore at all, or anything like that. That’s the luxury you have in that regard. 20-ish days, if all goes well.”
After joining the Nationals in a trade over the offseason, Fister has yet to debut with the team after beginning the year on the 15-day disabled list. He left a minor league start on March 27 after feeling discomfort while fielding a groundball. Fister was working his way back from elbow inflammation at the time before discovering the new injury.