The reports about the likelihood of Josh Willingham undergoing season ending surgery are starting to become more concrete. Adam Kilgore, who reported earlier that it was a strong possibility, is now reporting that surgery is all but inevitable.
With an injury to the meniscus in his left knee worsening rather than improving, Josh Willingham's season -- the best of his career before the onset of knee pain -- is likely over.
"It's almost a certainty he's going to have season-ending surgery next week," said Matt Sosnick, Willingham's agent. "They want him to clean it up so he can come in fresh for the season next year."
Kilgore also takes a look at what Willingham has meant for the Nats this season, both before and after his knee began to bother him.
Willingham's knee began to ache before the all-star break, at which point his production started to plummet. Though Willingham maintained his knee did not bother him at the plate, his stats show a clear correlation.
On July 4, Willingham was hitting .282 with a .413 on-base percentage, a .513 slugging percentage and 15 home runs in 263 at-bats. Since, Willingham has hit .232 with .325 on-base, .327 slugging and one homer in 107 at-bats.
Willingham helped give the Nationals a formidable middle of the order, but since his knee has begun to act up, the offense has struggled. Without Willingham in the lineup, it won't get any easier from here on out. Here's to hoping he returns healthy for spring training next year.