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Drew Storen hasn't appeared in a game since March 7.
VIERA, Fla. -- It's been nearly two weeks since Drew Storen last pitched, raising questions about the Nationals closer's status.
Turns out Storen has been suffering from strep throat, and doctors have instructed him to stay away from the clubhouse for the most part for fear of infecting others on the roster.
Storen has made only two appearances in Grapefruit League play, tossing a scoreless inning against the Astros on March 4 and then another scoreless inning against the Cardinals on March 7.
The Nationals had planned all along to ease their young closer into the season, not wanting to burn him out in advance of Opening Day. But ideally he would have pitched at some point in the last week.
The club believes there's still ample time for Storen, once he gets over his illness, to build up his workload and be 100 percent for the start of the season.
Manager Davey Johnson also suggested before tonight's game against the Mets that Storen was dealing with some tightness in his arm earlier this month as a result of some weight training. Storen, though, was scheduled to throw off flat ground today and would have been cleared to do that if not for the strep throat.
"His arm's fine," Johnson said.
Other injury updates...
-- Michael Morse (lat strain) and Adam LaRoche (bone bruise in heel) are in the middle of a week off from baseball activities, though both players were at Space Coast Stadium today doing conditioning drills.
-- Rick Ankiel (quad strain) is back in the lineup tonight against the Mets after missing the last 10 days.