by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Matt Williams was sure to make the clarification that Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s right shoulder is “degenerative,” not “arthritic,” in his weekly interview with the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday.

Williams said he’d mistakenly said ‘arthritic’ two days earlier, at 106.7 The Fan’s Chalk Talk, when he was asked about Zimmerman’s long-term viability playing third base, with a nagging shoulder injury that flares up at random, thus affecting his ability to throw the ball across the diamond.

“Well, I think some clarification probably is in order first,” Williams said Wednesday. “The word ‘arthritis’ kind of gets everybody, and everybody starts to talk about it. It’s more of a ‘degenerative’ issue in his shoulder. He had surgery, they took a piece of bone out some time ago, and it’s more ‘degenerative’ than ‘arthritic.’ As soon as you say ‘arthritic,’ people think that he’s got to get on medication and it’s gonna be a lifelong thing.”

“Well neither one’s better,” host Eric Bickel said. “I mean ‘degenerative’ doesn’t sound great either, right?”

“Well yea, but everybody’s got that,” Williams said. “I mean the more times you throw over the top, it starts to degenerate because it’s not a natural motion. So I think a lot’s been made of it that really shouldn’t be. But yea, he’s sore. And he has been sore. He’s had surgery and had issues with it, but that’s about all it is.”

“What to expect from Ryan is, him in the lineup tonight. You get a little sore, and he took a couple days off — we gave him some days — and working on a little bit different slot for him to throw in, and those types of things will help alleviate some of the soreness he gets.”

For more on Zimmerman’s shoulder injury, Williams, and Zimmerman himself, went into further detail with Adam Kilgore.


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