WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said on Saturday that Ross Detwiler likely will not start a game on this homestand, as previously had been hoped. The left-hander threw an abbreviated bullpen session before Saturday night's game, but he is still dealing with a back strain.
"He's still not quite right, so he's going to have to wait a couple days and try to get up on the mound," Johnson said.
Detwiler threw 20-25 pitches on Saturday, but pitching coach Steve McCatty told Johnson that the southpaw was not getting full extension in his follow-through. Detwiler will need to throw a couple of bullpen sessions before heading out on a Minor League rehab assignment.
The back injury has lingered for most of Detwiler's season. He missed 24 games in May and June before returning briefly and making five starts. Then he aggravated the injury on July 3 and was placed back on the disabled list on July 7, retroactive to July 4.
General manager Mike Rizzo did not comment on the severity of Detwiler's injury, but Johnson said that he is concerned by the duration and persistence of the strain.
"I don't know. A lot of times it's needing to have an adjustment, but nothing so far has worked that great," Johnson said. "I'm sure that it is something we're concerned about and we're going to definitely not have him rush back out, push him. He's a gutty young man. He'd take the ball and go out there the way he is. We want him to have no discomfort. He's got too great a future."
Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.