The Washington Times - June 14, 2011, 03:13PM

Ryan Zimmerman made his long-awaited return to the Nationals active roster Tuesday afternoon, six weeks to the day after he underwent surgery to repair a torn rectus muscle in his abdomen and exactly on schedule.

Right-hander Craig Stammen was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Zimmerman on the 25-man roster, giving the Nationals an 11-man pitching staff and six-man bullpen for the time being. Brian Bixler, the most likely position player to go upon Zimmerman’s return, was spared.

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Zimmerman was dropped back into a lineup that looks very different than the one he left with Jayson Werth leading off for the third straight day, Jerry Hairston Jr. playing left field and hitting ninth with the pitcher, Yunesky Maya, hitting eighth and Michael Morse playing first base and batting cleanup behind the third baseman, who slid back into his usual third spot.

I’ll be back with more from Zimmerman in a bit.