Olsen will have surgery Thursday morning in Washington, and, barring an unforeseen discovery of a more serious injury in his shoulder when the doctors perform what's being termed as a "cleanup procedure," he could be back on the mound in three months, according MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
Olsen was out from May 16 to June 29 with shoulder tendinitis and began feeling pain in his shoulder again after a July 10 start against the Astros.
In an odd way, Olsen's injury almost has to be comforting to the Nationals. Acquired over the winter along with left fielder Josh Willingham by former general manager Jim Bowden at little cost (two minor leaguers and infielder Emilio Bonifacio), Olsen has never really looked like himself in a Washington uniform, going 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA in 2009.
At least now the Nationals have an explanation why, and hope that Olsen can return next season and be part of a young, but possibly improving rotation that includes Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan and maybe even No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg.
"I just didn't feel normal," Olsen said. "The day after I pitched in Houston was a hard day. I really couldn't go through my throwing program like I normally would. It didn't get any better with the days off during the All-Star break. It didn't get any better. I had to skip Friday and then get second opinions. I'm not the only person that has had surgery. We just go back and try to build up for next year."