Updated at 4:43 p.m.
Jayson Werth has two small fractures in his left wrist, likely sidelining the veteran Nationals outfielder until August, according to a source familiar with the diagnosis.
Werth was examined Thursday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., by the same specialist who repaired his broken wrist in 2012 and discovered the current fractures, suffered two weeks ago when Werth was hit by a pitch. A CT scan revealed these two small fractures.
Team officials have made no announcements yet about Werth’s injury. MLB.com first reported the fractures.
The diagnosis is a blow to the Nationals and especially to Werth, whose career has been disrupted several times by injuries to this wrist. He suffered a major fracture while making a diving catch May 6, 2012, and missed three months before returning to help the Nationals in their final push for an NL East title. He also missed part of 2005 and all of the 2006 season with the Dodgers with a fracture and torn ligaments in the same wrist.
This latest injury occurred May 15, when Werth was struck by a pitch from Padres right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne and immediately writhed in pain. He briefly remained in that game but was replaced the following inning and then was placed on the 15-day disabled list three days later with what the Nationals announced was a wrist contusion.
That diagnosis came after X-rays and an MRI were taken of Werth’s wrist, and the outfielder expressed optimism that the injury wasn’t more serious.
“I’m relieved,” he said on May 19. “I wish it felt better. I’m optimistic, but I don’t feel like I’m out of the woods yet. … It’s still swollen. It was bad. About as bad as it could be without being broke.”
Werth had attempted to resume activities with the Nationals in recent days, but the wrist had not responded. The club set up his exam at the Mayo Clinic with specialist Richard Berger, who on Thursday diagnosed the fractures.
The Nationals have used a revolving door in left field in Werth’s absence, with Michael Taylor, Clint Robinson and Tyler Moore all making multiple starts. The club probably will proceed in the same manner for now, unlikely to feel an immediate need to acquire a full-time replacement from outside the organization.