VIERA, Fla. -- Reliever Ryan Mattheus hasn't pitched in six days because of chest pain. He had an MRI on Monday afternoon, but the results were not announced.
Mattheus started feeling pain after his bullpen session last Tuesday. While he was doing his conditioning program at the Minor League complex, Mattheus felt a little discomfort, but didn't feel it was alarming enough to call the trainer. Then Mattheus went to Space Coast Stadium to work on his upper body without any problems.
The next morning, however, it was uncomfortable for Mattheus to take deep breaths or to cough or sneeze. That's when he went to see the team trainers.
"[The training staff] thinks it's some sort of strain in there or inflammation, so we are going to get an MRI and figure it out," Mattheus said. "There are a couple of different options they think it could be. I've been down for six days. I could show up [in the next couple of days] and it feels great. I could go back out there and start throwing. If it's something more severe, it might take three or four weeks."
After having a disappointing season in 2013, Mattheus is battling for a bullpen spot this year. He broke his right hand after punching a locker last May in San Diego. When he returned to action, he had a tough time getting hitters out and was eventually sent to the Minor Leagues. After he returned to the big leagues, he still had problems on the mound.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.