WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nationals acting general manager Mike Rizzo says rookie right-hander Jordan Zimmermann probably needs reconstructive elbow surgery.
Rizzo says Monday that Dr. James Andrews reviewed an MRI exam done on Zimmermann's right elbow and agreed with a Nationals team doctor that the pitcher should have an operation to repair a ligament.
The team will seek a third opinion before consulting with Zimmermann and his agent on whether to have the surgery.
The 23-year-old Zimmermann is 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 16 starts for Washington in 2009, his first season above Double A.
He has been considered a cornerstone of efforts by the last-place Nationals to build a young rotation.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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