[Updated 3:18 p.m.]
The Nationals have placed Doug Fister on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain retroactive to March 23, manager Matt Williams announced on Saturday. Fister will now be shut down for five days before throwing again and the total recovery process could take up to a month.
Williams says the next course of action will depend on how Fister feels in five days.
"We'll see where he's at and then start the process of getting him back. That's the plan. We'll see how he goes over the next few, then get him back on his program."
Williams wasn't specific on the timeline, reiterating that they will not know until he begins throwing again. He called it a "moving target."
"It's three weeks, it's 30 days, it depends on what we can do to get him back to full strength so that when he steps on the mound for us, he's ready to go."
Fister expressed frustration with how his Nationals career will begin, but is hopeful for a full recovery sooner than later.
"It's never a good thing no matter when it is. It's disheartening, but it's something that's necessary and we gotta take care of it and get it over with."
Fister originally hurt his elbow early in spring and returned to the mound before leaving a minor league start on Thursday. It was then determined he had a right lat strain after feeling discomfort on a first inning defensive play.
"I think it's more precaution that anything," Williams said. "I don't think it had anything to do with the elbow. The elbow has been fine so far, since he had the inflammation. It's just one of those things. I don't think it was overcompensation in any regard."
Fister also believes the two are not related.
"I don't feel like anything has led to this," he said. "I don't think there's really any way to say. There's really no rhyme or reason for any of it. It's a matter of now we got and issue and we have to take care of it."
Fister's injury allows both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan to make the Nationals' roster. They had been competing for the fifth spot in the rotation throughout spring training.
Williams said the Nationals' rotation will proceed with Roark starting the team's home opener against the Atlanta Braves on April 4. After him Stephen Strasburg will make his second start of the season on April 5, and Jordan will then pitch that Sunday on April 6.