The Washington Times - July 18, 2011, 08:21PM

HOUSTON — Jerry Hairston Jr. was back with the major league team in Houston Monday, after missing the last 13 games with a fracture in his right wrist. Hairston spent Friday and Saturday on rehab with Double-A Harrisburg but was deemed ready to return to active duty Saturday night.

He will wear a shield to block the injured area at least for about a week, he said, but then he anticipates ridding himself of any extra guards.


“Taking BP, the initial swinging, I was a little tentative,” Hairston said of his rehab assignment. “But after a couple days, especially in the second game, it was just like being back playing again.”

Hairston spent 16 innings in the field, playing shortstop, with Harrisburg. He played there for two reasons: Hairston is a natural middle infielder so that’s an easy place for him to play but also because he’s a versatile player who’s used all over the field and it’s generally thought that if you can play shortstop you can play anywhere. It was the best place for him to test himself.

– Catcher Ivan Rodriguez hit off a tee again Monday and also hit some soft toss in the batting cage at Minute Maid Park. He continues to progress slowly from a right oblique strain but after needing to cut his hitting short over the weekend due to soreness, he said he was feeling relatively pain free on Monday.

Rodriguez is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday and while he said he “probably” would be ready to do so and wouldn’t need a rehab assignment, Nationals manager Davey Johnson reiterated the club’s stance that they will take things slow with Rodriguez with what is considered to be a tough injury.

– One day after spraining his right ankle in a collision at home plate with catcher Brian McCann, Tom Gorzelanny said that it was still too soon to know if he’d be healthy enough to make his next start Saturday in Los Angeles.

With two off days coming up in the next week, Thursday and Monday, the Nationals can technically go with a four-man rotation and skip Gorzelanny twice without worry. For his part, the left-hander said he’d need at least until Wednesday to figure out how much of a possibility his start Saturday will be.

Gorzelanny had X-Rays on the ankle but they came back negative.