MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats' Barrett recovering from ankle surgery

Nats' Barrett recovering from ankle surgery

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Aaron Barrett isn't just recovering from Tommy John surgery. He revealed at Winterfest on Sunday that he had bone chip and spurs removed from his left ankle on Dec. 3. Barrett was using a motorized scooter to get around the festivities.

Barrett has had problems with the ankle since 2014, and knew about the injury after having an MRI last December. But he decided to get the surgery earlier this month since he is still recovering from right elbow reconstruction, a procedure he had in early September. Barrett is hoping to be back in the Major Leagues sometime next September.

"This is an easy rehab. With the timing of everything, it just makes sense to get [the ankle] fixed now," Barrett said. "Let's say I didn't get it fixed and I started falling and my ankle started bothering me. Then that pushes me back even more. It just makes sense to get this cleaned up now and move forward."

Barrett doesn't remember how he hurt the ankle, but he indicated he was throwing too much, which might have caused the elbow problems. By getting the Tommy John surgery, Barrett hopes to start playing catch by the end of February.

"I have more range of motion now than I did before I had surgery," Barrett said. "I think that's a pretty good sign. So I'm happy with the progress. I'm already starting to do some workout stuff. I'm right on track -- right where I need to be. The throwing program is anywhere from four to six months."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.