The Washington Times - September 27, 2011, 07:09PM

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman was out of the Nationals’ lineup on Tuesday, missing the season’s penultimate game with a sore hamstring that Nationals manager Davey Johnson didn’t want to aggravate any worse. Steve Lombardozzi started at third base in his place, his second major league start at the position and just third in his entire professional career.

There is a possibility that Zimmerman will not play on Wednesday, either, meaning that his 2011 season would be complete. Zimmerman seemed open to the possibility of playing Wednesday, admitting he wouldn’t like to miss the season finale, but it’s not worth risking turning something minor into a serious injury.

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“He’s going to be all right,” Johnson said. “He was complaining last night he was having a little trouble running. He said he could probably play but I didn’t want to take a chance that he could pull that. I know how bad that is and how long it takes to heal. As far as Im concerned, his safety is more important.”

If Zimmerman’s season is indeed over, considering he missed most of the season’s first 2 1/2 months, it’s been another outstanding one for the Nationals Gold Glove third baseman. He hit .289 with 12 home runs and a .355 on-base percentage. Zimmerman played eight games to begin the season and then missed from April 9 until June 14 with a rectus tear in his abdomen that required surgery.