The Washington Times - June 5, 2012, 07:02PM

Brad Lidge wasn’t thrilled with the way his first minor league rehab outing went Monday night, his command not where he’s used to and his slider not as strong as he’d like, but it was progress nonetheless.

When it was over, when Lidge’s first game action since May 1 surgery to repair a sports hernia was complete, he felt healthy. That was progress in itself.

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Lidge will pitch for Single-A Potomac again on Wednesday and Friday. Lidge allowed two hits and a run on Monday, getting one out as he started the game for the P-Nats. His next outing will come out of the bullpen to simulate more of the situation he’s used to and he’s hoping he won’t be held to a strict pitch count — but simply allowed to finish his inning.

After his outing Friday, Lidge said, the team will reevaluate where he’s at and whether or not he’s ready to re-join the team. The Nationals would not have to activate him until July 3, so they have plenty of time to work with if they feel Lidge requires a bit more time before rejoining the active roster.

Lidge has been on track to return around June 11-15.

– Nationals closer Drew Storen threw on back-to-back days for the first time on Tuesday, throwing from 90-feet after a 120-foot session on Monday and continued to progress well from surgery to remove a bone chip in his right elbow. 

“I feel real strong,” Storen said. “Everyday I’ve taken a step forward. There’s not one day where I go, ‘I don’t feel so great, status quo.’ There’s no status quo. Everyday I’m taking some step forward. There’s no pain. Everything’s falling into place nice.”

Storen is still on track to return around the All-Star break, he said, but there still is no firm date for when he will throw off a mound for the first time since the April surgery. “In the next couple of weeks, I’d say,” Storen said.

– The Nationals don’t figure to carry three catchers all that much longer — Nationals manager Davey Johnson would not prefer to — but he said Tuesday that the man he’d likely use to replace one of the extra catchers on the roster, Mark DeRosa, is not all that close to returning.

DeRosa has been dealing with a left oblique strain but also going through some personal issues with his father, who has cancer and has been hospitalized in New Jersey for the better part of the last month.

DeRosa left Monday to be with his father, who Johnson said had taken a turn. DeRosa had been told by the doctors to rest his oblique, anyway, Johnson said, so there remains to firm timetable on when he’ll get to the point where he’s ready to return.

Last week, DeRosa had said he didn’t think he’d necessarily need a rehab assignment, playing as a bench player as he is.

– There’s not much to update with regard to Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth, but he made an appearance in the clubhouse Tuesday afternoon and showed off a pretty decent scar on his surgically-repaired left wrist. Werth is scheduled to go back to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic for a checkup in about two weeks and still several weeks away from getting back to activities.