Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Tyler Walker expects to have season-ending labrum surgery this week.
Walker, who has been on the disabled list since late-June with inflammation in the shoulder, was shut down from his rehab program last week after experiencing more pain. An MRI taken in Washington revealed the labrum tear. He's scheduled to be examined Thursday in Birmingham by orthopedist James Andrews, who will then decide whether surgery is necessary.
Walker seems resigned to the fact the procedure will happen Friday.
"Hopefully it will be the mother of all shoulder surgeries, the last one hopefully," said the 34-year-old right-hander, who had labrum surgery in 2000 while a minor-leaguer with the Mets.
Recovery time from surgery is six-to-eight months, so Walker could be back pitching off a mound by spring training and be ready to pitch in the majors around Opening Day 2011.
Whether the Nationals choose to bring him back is another question. Walker is due to be a free agent, and given his limited role this season -- he posted a 3.57 ERA in 24 appearances, most of them with the Nats trailing -- it seems unlikely he'll be back.