His right arm in a sling following the first surgery of his life, Drew Storen sat in the dugout at Nationals Park this morning and expressed relief that yesterday's procedure to remove a small bone chip from his elbow was relatively minor.
"When I woke up and they said that it was quick, it was easy, it was what we expected ... obviously that's a big relief," Storen said. "Now I have a good plan of attack. I know what the problem was; I had it fixed."
The arthroscopic surgery performed by team doctor Wiemi Douoguih removed one small bone chip from Storen's throwing elbow. The right-hander's ulnar collateral ligament was found to be entirely intact, and there were no other areas of concern.
Doctors didn't give Storen an exact timetable for his return, but he's proceeding as though he'll miss at least two months. No matter when he takes the mound again, the 24-year-old expects to be 100 percent.
"That's my goal," he said. "When I come back, I want to be me. ... I want to be like I was last year."
Though an enhanced MRI last month revealed the likelihood of the bone chip, Storen stood by his and the Nationals' decision to attempt to return following a brief period of rest. His hope was to manage the pain all season and then have it taken care of during the offseason.
"I thought we did the right thing in our approach," he said. "I didn't feel the pain when I came back initially. I think it was the right thing to do, just trying to throw through it. I didn't think it was going to be anything that severe. But I definitely did the right thing in not trying to throw another bullpen or something like that after I felt it. I shut it down right away, and that was the best decision I made."
Some other injury updates...
-- Center fielder Rick Ankiel is scheduled to finish his rehab assignment at Class AAA Syracuse tonight. Ankiel will then return to D.C. and work out at Nationals Park tomorrow and come off the DL once he becomes eligible before Saturday's game.
-- A follow-up exam on top draft pick Anthony Rendon revealed a partial fracture of his left ankle. The Nationals actually believe that's a slightly better outcome than the original diagnosis of a bad sprain, because a fracture can heal faster and cleaner. The 2011 first-round pick is scheduled to see a foot specialist tomorrow. There's no timetable for his return, but GM Mike Rizzo said he is expected to play this season.
-- Fellow 2011 draft pick Brian Goodwin has a strained hamstring, but the injury is not considered serious.