[UPDATE AT 4:28 P.M. -- The Nats have now confirmed Detwiler's surgery and say he is scheduled to begin a throwing program in six weeks and "should be able to return to competitive pitching in three months." The procedure was performed Monday in Vail, Colo., by Marc J. Phillippon.]
VIERA, Fla. -- Ross Detwiler, who hoped to make the Nationals' Opening Day rotation on the heels of a strong September in the big leagues, won't get a chance to make any kind of showing for a while.
Detwiler had surgery Monday to repair a torn hip flexor and will miss about 10 weeks, according to a source close to the left-hander. The injury occurred sometime during the last month while the former first-round draft pick was working out in Viera.
Detwiler, who turns 24 on March 6, is expected to return to the Nats' spring training complex, using crutches, on Saturday.
The injury is a significant blow, both to Detwiler and to the Nationals. Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Missouri State, made major strides last season and posted a 3.05 ERA in 16 starts between Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Syracuse. He looked overwhelmed during his first stint in Washington, going 0-5 with a 6.40 ERA in 10 starts to earn a demotion to Syracuse. But upon returning to the majors in September, he posted a 1.90 ERA in five appearances (four starts) to head into the offseason on a high note.
The Nats, who are searching for three starters to join John Lannan and Jason Marquis in the Opening Day rotation, were hoping Detwiler could pick up where he left off late last season and push for a spot this spring. Now they'll be forced to turn their attention to several other young hurlers in the mix, including Scott Olsen, Craig Stammen, Garrett Mock, Shairon Martis, Matt Chico, Collin Balester and J.D. Martin.