Jayson Werth could be out for several months after breaking his left wrist while attempting a sliding catch Sunday night, Washington Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said of his team's star right fielder after a 9-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It's a clean break,” Johnson said. “He's going to be out for a while.”
Werth's wrist bent backward after his glove got caught underneath him as he was trying to catch a sinking liner by Placido Polanco in the sixth inning. After staying on the ground briefly, Werth threw the ball back to the infield and walked off holding his wrist.
It's the same wrist Werth injured during spring training of 2005 when he was a member of the Dodgers. He played 102 games that season before having a torn ligament in the wrist surgically repaired and missed all of 2006 while recovering.
Werth, who became a star after signing with Philadelphia in 2007, will see the same specialist who helped him through that injury, a Nationals spokesperson said.
The injury-plagued Nationals are expecting to get two players back this week — third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has been on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, and cleanup hitter Adam LaRoche, who missed the last four games with a sore right side muscle. Michael Morse, who entered the season slated as the team's cleanup hitter, still hasn't played due to an injured back muscle.
Werth did not speak to the media after Sunday's game. He had been hitting .276 with three home runs and 12 RBI this season for the Nationals, who have a surprising half-game lead in the National League East but have cooled a bit since a hot start.
“Never a good time to lose anybody, especially a guy in the heart of your lineup,” LaRoche said. “We were looking forward to this next series, this next week, being together again. Now we're obviously short another big bat and a big part of this team. So, time for everybody to step up and make up for it as much as we can.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.