Bill Ladson of MLB.com spoke with Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche about his left shoulder injury. The outlook does not seem bright:
To recap, LaRoche's injury to his shoulder has gone from what was described as normal spring soreness, to a partial tear which could be played through, to a large tear in his labrum and a partial tear in the rotator cuff. The result? An aggravated shoulder injury that could threaten to keep the club's seven million dollar investment out of the lineup for potentially the rest of the season.
The plan as of now is to shut him down for two or three weeks without throwing or swinging a bat. If LaRoche is able to rebuild strength in the injured arm, and hopefully repair the tear he will be able to avoid season ending surgery. Unfortunately when shoulder injuries are allowed to worsen as it did in his case, it can get harder and harder to rehab without some sort of medical correction.
It's hard to understand what exactly happened here, but mistakes seem to have been made. To me it seems like there was a misdiagnosis in LaRoche's shoulder, and despite his obvious performance problems, both Jim Riggleman and Mike Rizzo took him at his word that he was healthy. As a result, he was allowed to play and worsen his condition. If this is the case than all three seem to blame. First LaRoche for not being open about his condition, second for Riggleman for not questioning his first baseman, and third for Rizzo not taking control of the matter and assuring his medical staff is doing their job as well as possible.
That being said, it seems to me that Riggleman and Rizzo are good at what they do because they are open, honest, and trust their players/staff. If LaRoche, a eight year MLB veteran, told the men in charge that he was healthy and wanted to play, then they had reason to believe he wasn't telling them the truth.