NEW YORK -- Nationals closer Drew Storen suffered a setback, experiencing right elbow pain after throwing a simulated game on Sunday at the team's complex in Viera, Fla.
Storen was sent to Birmingham, Ala., to see Dr. James Andrews to get further examination on the elbow.
Manager Davey Johnson wasn't optimistic about when the team would see Storen on the mound again. The skipper even hinted that Storen may have a bone ship in the elbow.
"He threw the ball pretty good, warmed up pretty good," Johnson said. "At the end of the day, he felt a little tenderness in his elbow. So we are going to send him over to Andrews and have him re-examined and see what is causing it. ... Hopefully, it's nothing serious, but it doesn't sound good to me."
Prior to Sunday, the last time Storen pitched in a game was in early March. At the time, the team announced that he had "typical arm soreness." By the end of Spring Training, the team announced that he had inflammation in the elbow and was going on the disabled list, but would be back by the middle of April.
With Storen out of the picture for a while, Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge will split the closer's role.
"With the addition of Brad Lidge, we have even more depth," Johnson said. "But any time you lose someone like Storen, who saved 43 games, that is a big concern of mine."
Ryan Zimmerman said the Nationals have a capable bullpen with Storen out of action.
"[The Nationals] did a great job of getting Lidge and guys like that," Zimmerman said. "We have a more than capable bullpen. Hopefully, it will hold up while he is gone. Any time your teammate or anyone like that gets hurt, it's not good. You feel bad for them. Hopefully, everything will turn out OK. [The front office] has done a great job of having so much depth in the bullpen. It gives him some time to get healthy and not rush anything."