Josh Willingham has sat out the last couple of games with knee "soreness," but it was unclear what exactly that meant. Now, it's clear. According to Mark Zuckerman of Comcast SportsNet, the injury is actually pretty serious.
Josh Willingham has a torn meniscus in his left knee, an injury that has been hampering the Nationals left fielder since early in the season but hasn't kept him out of the lineup until the last two days.
A torn meniscus is the same injury Gilbert Arenas first suffered back in 2007, kick-starting all of his health problems. However, Willingham is not willing to sit out for too long, and in fact has been playing on the injury for quite some time. Manager Jim Riggleman said he intends to play Willingham in Friday's game against Arizona and actually suffered the injury earlier in the season.
"It was there early [in the season] and he played through it with no issues," Riggleman said. "And then he slid into a base a little funny on the last homestand and aggravated it. Never missed an inning, never missed a game. I probably should have given him a game back then and didn't. We got to this point where I said, you know, he's showing a little bit of wear and tear on it, so I'm going to sit him down a game. He was good with the one game. He doesn't want to sit today, but I'm going to sit him and get him back in there tomorrow."
Willingham's performance has suffered considerably since he turned in an outstanding first half of the season. Perhaps this is the reason why.
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