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Eaton has arthroscopic surgery on left ankle

Nationals have no timetable for outfielder's return
Special to MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Derek Jeter. Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry.

Adam Eaton joined the star-studded client list of noted foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson when he underwent arthroscopic surgery in which a small piece of cartilage was removed from his left ankle Thursday.

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PHOENIX -- Derek Jeter. Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry.

Adam Eaton joined the star-studded client list of noted foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson when he underwent arthroscopic surgery in which a small piece of cartilage was removed from his left ankle Thursday.

View Full Game Coverage

And with one snip of a chondral flap, the Nationals believe the issue that has kept Eaton sidelined for a month has finally been resolved.

Eaton underwent several MRIs and sought three medical opinions since sustaining the injury on a slide into home plate in an April 5 game against the Mets, and doctors opted for exploratory surgery because of the stop-and-start nature of the recovery process.

"On the images, the cartilage was always flat," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "But when [Eaton] was in the process of doing things, running and moving, the flap would get stuck into the lateral gutter of the ankle. It would cause inflammation and pain. We could never get him over the hump out of the boot, because the flap kept interfering and causing inflammation and pain. It correlates with all the symptoms he had.

"They thought something was missing in the rehab. They went in to see what was going on."

Eaton's ankle was fine when he was immobilized, Rizzo said, but pain and inflammation occurred every time he began baseball activity.

Eaton is expected to return to Washington this weekend and is to be immobilized for a week before transitioning into a walking boot and then baseball activity. There is no timetable for his return, Rizzo said.

Washington has used Matt Adams, Howie Kendrick, Brian Goodwin, Moises Sierra and Andrew Stevenson in left field since Eaton and his .345/.424/.655 slash line went on the disabled list, and manager Dave Martinez said that likely will continue.

"If Matty keeps swinging like he is swinging, Howie is playing good … those guys will get a chance to play left field," Martinez said. "Stevenson is going to get an opportunity to play a lot more, too.

"These guys are all playing well. We miss Adam, but these guys have stepped in and done the job."

Adams also has been used at first base and Kendrick has been the primary second baseman in the absence of Daniel Murphy. Adams entered Thursday's game against the D-backs tied for fourth in the NL with 10 homers.

Eaton missed most of last season after undergoing surgery last May to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus damage in his left knee in May, the same leg he sustained the sprained ankle.

"I don't think it was related, but there was a lot of damage done last year," Rizzo said. "He had a clean bill of health coming into Spring Training with the ankle and the knee, and you saw him perform well before the play at home plate.

"Who's to say there wasn't something that happened in the original injury, but he was clean to go, performing well."

Scherzer discusses Paxton's no-no

The Nationals were absorbed by the final two innings of Seattle left-hander James Paxton's no-hitter in Toronto on Tuesday, watching 3,000 miles away on clubhouse TVs in San Diego.

No one had quite the perspective that Max Scherzer had.

Video: SEA@TOR: Paxton strikes out 7 in no-hitter

Scherzer and now Paxton are the only two pitchers in Major League history to have a 16-strikeout game in their appearance before throwing a no-hitter. Scherzer struck out 16 in a 4-0 victory over Milwaukee on June 14, 2015, before his no-hitter June 20 against Pittsburgh. Paxton struck out 16 in seven innings of a no-decision against Oakland on May 2.

It's a special feeling.

Video: PIT@WSH: Scherzer completes no-hitter vs. Pirates

"You're just locked," Scherzer said. "You're on top of your pitches. You're in sync with your mechanics. You're in sync with your catcher, first and foremost, to be able to call the game. You're in sync with your reports."

On Tuesday, it was must-see TV.

"That was pretty cool to watch him do that," Scherzer said. "Going out in the ninth inning and throwing 100 [mph], that was pretty sweet for him to be able to do that. Everyone in the clubhouse was fascinated to see how the eighth and ninth inning unfolds."

Jack Magruder is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Adam Eaton