Schwarber to 10-day IL with hamstring strain

July 3rd, 2021

Nationals slugger Kyle Schwarber will miss significant time due to a hamstring injury. In Friday’s 10-5 loss to the Dodgers, the left fielder exited in the second inning after he felt a pop in his hamstring.

“I hit the ball and thought it was a good chance to try to extend it into two,” said Schwarber. “[The] ball was in the gap, so [Cody Bellinger, Dodgers center fielder] was gonna have to make a perfect throw. I tried to pick it up into another gear and felt this pop and that’s when I kind of shut it down.”

There is some good news and some bad news. The good: no procedure will be required, so his time on the injured list will be less than when he required knee surgery in 2016, sidelining him for six months before his return in the World Series with the Cubs. The bad: neither manager Dave Martinez nor Schwarber have a timetable for a possible return, as an MRI showed a significant strain in the right hamstring.

Just a day after being named National League Player of the Month for June, Schwarber can’t help but feel frustrated by July’s inauspicious start. However, Schwarber has little doubt about his team’s ability to win.

Earlier in June -- though the Nats were still in last place in the NL East -- Schwarber shared a message of positivity, encouraging everyone to stick with this team. Since sweeping the Pirates on June 16, Washington has won 10 of their last 15 games.

The Nationals’ roster was already banged up as it was, with Trea Turner listed as day to day with a jammed left middle finger and catcher-turned-second baseman Alex Avila moved to the 10-day IL with a bilateral calf strain. But the message remains the same, according to Schwarber: stick with this team.

“We got to keep playing baseball,” said Martinez. “It's unfortunate that as hot as he was, and how much he helped us win over the last month, we got to do without him for a while. So, other guys definitely have to step up.”

The next-man-up mentality is nothing new for this roster, which has dealt with injuries all season. But folks have stepped up as needed and trusted the person behind them -- something Martinez and Schwarber both noted was special about this team.

Schwarber is already itching to start hitting again, joking that he will sit and hit in the cage if he has to, even if it means getting yelled at. He isn’t sure when he will be able to resume baseball activity, knowing that for the foreseeable future his hamstring will undergo compression treatments to release swelling. Once he’s able to talk to the Nationals’ team doctor and determine a plan, the only thing the slugger is focused on is sticking to it and returning as soon as possible.

“You're angry when it first happens, just because you don't want to miss any time away from the team,” said Schwarber. “That's the best way to handle it. I think for me, you have to be able to accept it and you have to be able to find a way to go about your next steps. … I guarantee you, whenever I come back, that it will be the soonest possible that I would be able to come back.”