Dukes day-to-day, Hernandez ready for rehab

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Plenty of injury updates to provide as the Nats wrap up batting practice and the Japanese media horde gets into position to watch Kenshin Kawakami’s big-league debut…

— Elijah Dukes’ strained groin isn’t as serious as originally feared. Though Dukes isn’t in the lineup tonight, his status is day-to-day and he could in theory pinch-hit tonight (I doubt it, though).

— Anderson Hernandez played seven innings at second base today in Viera and caught a flight to Rochester, N.Y., where he’ll hook up with Class AAA Syracuse and begin a rehab assignment tomorrow. Acting GM Mike Rizzo didn’t want to set a specific timetable for Hernandez’s return, but it sounds like it won’t be long. “We have to see how he performs and how he handles playing when the game speeds up and you have to go instinctually and full-go,” Rizzo said. “We’ll see how his body holds up.”

— Dmitri Young played seven innings in Viera himself yesterday and continues to increase his workload. The Nats want him to play nine innings on back-to-back days, then will make plans to send him on a rehab assignment.

— Finally, Terrell Young (remember him?) has only just now resumed a throwing program. The top pick in the Rule 5 draft, who was shut down this spring with a sore shoulder, doesn’t seem to be anywhere close to ready. As Rizzo described it, “we’re more weeks away than days away.” Even then, Rizzo and Co. saw very little of Young this spring to draw any firm conclusions on him. I would suspect they don’t put him on the 25-man roster once he’s healthy, leaving them to either send him back to the Reds or work out a trade to keep him in their farm system.

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Mark Zuckerman

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