Ryan Zimmerman is out of the Nationals’ lineup for the fifth straight game tonight, his left shoulder still not healed enough to allow him to play without some pain. And it sounds like Zim’s going to miss another game tomorrow, with an eye on returning for Sunday’s series finale here in Arizona.
Regardless of when he returns, Zimmerman admitted he’s probably going to be dealing with this injury the rest of the season, a disconcerting thought for Nats fans.
“I don’t know if it will be back to where I want it until the season’s over and I have a chance to rest it for more than a week,” he said. “But that’s me. I want to play, and if I’m going to have to play through a little bit of pain, I don’t really see any problem with that. It’s just a matter of making sure I can’t hurt anything further and being able to handle the pain without having to take pain medicine every day.”
Zimmerman took some light swings today for the first time. He hopes to take actual batting practice tomorrow and then make a decision about Sunday’s game. The Nats do have Monday off before opening a homestand Tuesday against the Cardinals, so perhaps he’s best off waiting until then to return to the field.
Regardless, the last thing the punchless Nats need right now is their best hitter on the bench. Take a look at tonight’s new-look lineup (loaded with left-handed hitters against the D’backs Micah Owings, who holds right-handed hitters to a .196 average):