Hill to have right elbow surgery

Hill to have right elbow surgery

ATLANTA -- Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill will have arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Friday afternoon in Pensacola, Fla., and the procedure will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.

Last week, Andrews found calcium buildup in the back of the elbow and suggested arthroscopic surgery. However, Andrews didn't rule out the possibility of Hill needing extensive surgery if he found more than just calcium buildup during the operation. That could mean more elbow reconstruction.

Hill, 27, has a history of elbow problems. He underwent elbow reconstruction in 2004, and it took him the entire 2005 season to recover from the procedure.

Before the announcement regarding the surgery on Friday, Hill went to the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Wednesday to see Dr. Tom Hunt about his forearm. Hunt found no structural damage in the forearm and, apparently, the pain is gone.

In 2008, Hill made 12 starts and had a 1-5 record with a 5.83 ERA. For most of the season, Hill had to deal with forearm soreness. The pain proved to be too much, and he went on the disabled list in late June. Rest was recommended by the doctors.

Meanwhile, first baseman Dmitri Young is expected to rejoin the Nationals on Tuesday when they play the Mets at Shea Stadium. Once he returns, Young most likely will play every day while Ronnie Belliard is sidelined by the right groin strain he suffered during Thursday's game.

Young is currently playing for Class A Vermont. On Wednesday, he went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Overall, Young is 3-for-7 for the Lake Monsters.

After weeks of struggling to get his diabetes under control, Young was medically cleared to resume baseball activities on Aug. 22.

Young hasn't played a Major League game since July 11. At first, he was out due to back problems. After the All-Star break, Young participated in the team's workouts and said he was ready to play, but he was unable to because he felt lightheaded and his diabetes wasn't under control.

Manager Manny Acta believes that outfielder Austin Kearns will play in big league games before the season is over. Kearns, who is on the disabled list because of a stress fracture in his left foot, was seen working on the stationary bicycle without any problems.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.