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Purke hopes to move past injuries, contribute to Nats

Left-hander has dealt with shoulder, elbow issues since being selected in '11 Draft

VIERA, Fla. -- Left-hander Matt Purke has been injury prone since he was selected by the Nationals in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

First, he had shoulder issues. Last May, Purke had Tommy John surgery, and he was taken off the 40-man roster when the team released him in November. The 24-year-old was later re-signed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

"It's definitely frustrating. You don't want to go through injuries and not be able to perform," Purke said. "It's just something you have to take in stride, keep moving forward. I'm ready to keep progressing the best I can and really get myself out there and pitch and perform. When my number is called, I'll be able to help when I can."

Purke is currently in the middle of his throwing program. He is able to long toss and hopes to be on the mound in the next couple of weeks. It's not known when he will be able to pitch in a game.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
Read More: Washington Nationals, Matt Purke