ATLANTA — Jayson Werth returned to the Nationals’ lineup Sunday night, but the veteran right fielder will be trying to play through an inflammation in the AC joint of his right shoulder that has bothered him more than a week.
Werth was unable to start either of the first two games of the Nationals’ series against the Braves, scratched about an hour before first pitch Saturday night. He was able to make it through pregame workouts Sunday with the shoulder feeling strong enough to allow him to play, but he recognizes he’ll need to be cautious moving forward.
“It’s tough, because you want to play,” he said. “But it’s the type of injury that is painful, and they tell me I’m not at risk of injuring myself, I guess, once it’s to a level that’s tolerable. If you piss it off more while it’s pissed off, then you’re looking at more time. It’s tricky.”
Werth said he was diagnosed with inflammation of the AC joint, an injury that might have been triggered by a catch up against the wall August 1 in Washington. He played several days in mild pain, but it got worse during Thursday’s 13-inning win over the Mets.
For comparison’s sake, teammate Ryan Zimmerman sprained his AC joint in 2012 and required several cortisone shots to make it through the season before ultimately undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
To this point, Werth believes his injury isn’t serious and hopes he’ll be back to something close to 100 percent soon, though he has little experience in this area
“I don’t know, I’m somewhere where I’ve never been before,” he said. “I think I’m going to be OK.”