Nats' Hill to have arthroscopic surgery on right elbow

Updated: August 29, 2008, 9:58 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Shaun Hill is scheduled to have his chronically sore right forearm evaluated on Wednesday and will then undergo arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow.

Hill, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 25, was examined Friday in Pensacola, Fla., by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Ben Shaffer, a Nationals team physician, said Andrews discovered "bony buildup" behind Hill's elbow ligament and recommended arthroscopic surgery to clean out the joint.

Before the surgery, Hill will see Dr. Tom Hunt, a hand and upper extremity specialist, at the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Wednesday. Shaffer said it is hoped the cause of the lingering forearm soreness that has plagued Hill for much of his career can be determined before the operation.

"It's a mystery. It's difficult to discern exactly what the problem is ... It doesn't appear to be anything structural," Shaffer said.

Hill was 1-5 with a 5.83 ERA in 12 starts this season.

He missed the 2005 season after having Tommy John surgery, and missed time in 2006 with soreness in his right elbow. Last season, Hill was limited to 16 starts by a shoulder injury and a compressed radial nerve in his right forearm.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press