The Washington Times - August 1, 2012, 07:16PM

Davey Johnson, asked about Ian Desmond on Wednesday, said the Nationals’ training staff has given the shortstop and his strained left oblique a roughly five-week timetable. Desmond, who went on the disabled list on July 22 and is about 10 days into that time period, worked out for the first time on Wednesday.

It might not speed up Desmond’s return to the starting lineup all that much, but the fact that he was allowed to partake in any activity — and came through it feeling well — was a good sign.

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Within the five-week timetable, Desmond’s return would be penciled in around the last week in August.

“We’re in that two-week, do-nothing deal,” Johnson said. “He’s feeling great. I saw him when I went to work out today. He was in there jumping rope.”

Desmond also did some upper-body work and worked out in the pool under the supervision of the Nationals’ training staff. 

It’s been difficult for Desmond to be only a spectator while his oblique heals, though the play of Danny Espinosa at short has made it a bit easier for the Nationals to take. Espinosa, a natural shortstop, has handled the position seamlessly in Desmond’s absence. 

But the Nationals, no doubt, are anticipating when a healthy Desmond will return to their roster. Desmond was the team’s most consistent offensive player this season before he went on the DL.

Putting up numbers that earned him his first All-Star nod (though he had to turn down playing in the game with his oblique issue), Desmond is hitting .286 with a .322 on-base percentage and a .503 slugging percentage. In 89 games, Desmond’s hit 17 homers, 24 doubles and two triples.