Drew Storen Undergoes Unexpected Surgery

Michael Nargi@NargOnSportsSenior Analyst IApril 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: Drew Storen #22 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on July 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Washington Nationals won 5-4. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals are going to have to fight a bit harder now in the National League East to make the playoffs.

Closer Drew Storen was not expected to miss much time after being shut down with tenderness in his elbow. That has changed after Storen visited Dr. James Andrews.

According to MLB.com's William Ladson via Twitter, Storen successfully underwent minor elbow surgery on Wednesday to remove a bone fragment from his elbow. Ladson has also reported that the Nats expect Storen to return to action at some point before the All-Star break.

The Nationals had feared a bone chip in Storen's elbow after suffering a setback earlier this week. Luckily for the Nats, they have a deep bullpen that is capable of picking up the slack while Storen is sidelined.

The Nats will have to rely on veteran Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez for an extended period of time.

Lidge has pitched two innings, given up two hits and struck out four. The flame-throwing Rodriguez has appeared in three games, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing only one hit while striking out six and walking two batters.

Both men have not allowed any runs and each have recorded a save. They will be a huge part of the Nationals' success in the beginning of the year while they are without their 24-year-old stud closer.