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Prospect Purke to undergo Tommy John surgery

WASHINGTON -- Left-hander Matt Purke, the Nationals' No. 6 prospect, will have Tommy John surgery performed Thursday morning, according to general manager Mike Rizzo. The procedure will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.

Having the Tommy John procedure is nothing new to the organization. Pitchers such as Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg and Lucas Giolito have gone under the knife for elbow reconstruction. Zimmermann and Strasburg have been successful in the big league level since the surgery. Giolito hasn't pitched since May 11 and is currently on an innings limit with Class A Hagerstown.

"Yeah, it's disappointing," Rizzo said about Purke. "He is going to be a year-plus of getting back, but we have been through this before with good results, so we are hoping for the same."

Purke was off to a slow start for Double-A Harrisburg, going 1-6 with an 8.04 ERA in eight starts.

Purke, a third-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, has been hit by injuries ever since he joined the organization. He dealt with shoulder problems for most of his professional career.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for He also can be found on Twitter @danielrpopper.
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