Nats P Zimmermann out 12-18 months

Updated: August 12, 2009, 6:55 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Jordan Zimmermann will have reconstructive elbow surgery next week, leaving the Washington Nationals without their top pitching prospect for at least a year.

Manager Jim Riggleman said the normal recovery period is 12 to 18 months, a timetable that could keep the 23-year-old Zimmermann out until the 2011 season.

Acting general manager Mike Rizzo said Zimmermann is "as upbeat as you can be" about the surgery, which will be performed on his right elbow by Tommy John expert ...

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