The Washington Times - June 10, 2011, 08:34PM

SAN DIEGO — While his team is battling to remain less than 10 games under .500, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is nearing his long-awaited return to the active roster. Zimmerman, who has made four rehab starts with the Nationals’ Single-A affiliates, will play for Triple-A Syracuse this weekend and have a scheduled off day on Monday.

He could be activated right on schedule Tuesday before the Nationals open a homestand with a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. When Zimmerman went in for surgery to repair a torn rectus muscle in his abdomen on May 3, he was told it would be a six-week rehabilitation from the date of surgery. While it’s always a loose timeline, June 14 is exactly six weeks after Zimmerman’s surgery.

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In his four rehab games, Zimmerman is 6-for-12 with three doubles, a triple and two RBI. After his first rehab start, with Single-A Hagerstown, Zimmerman told reporters that while he felt great both hitting and running, throwing was still causing him some discomfort. He reiterated that he would not rejoin the Nationals active roster until he felt 100 percent in all areas, a sentiment Nationals manager Jim Riggleman agreed with, so as to avoid any setbacks once he does return.

He’ll play in Syracuse Saturday night and most likely Sunday as well before taking Monday off.