The Washington Times - March 27, 2012, 12:38PM

JUPITER, Fla. — Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche will play in a minor league game Tuesday and he’ll be allowed to run the bases if and when he gets a hit. If all goes well, the Nationals are still hoping he’ll be cleared to return to major league action by Thursday, March 29.

LaRoche, who has been dealing with left foot/ankle issues since one of the Nationals’ first workouts of the spring, began playing in minor league games on Friday but wasn’t cleared for any type of turning until Monday. He did some light turns with the training staff and was cleared to run the bases Tuesday. The issue, which is now termed a bone bruise with a bit of a cartilage issue, only causes LaRoche pain when rounding the bases and he’s always thought if it were the regular season he could play through it without incident.


Still, it’s a positive sign that the Nationals continue to seem confident LaRoche will be able to play in a few major league games before the spring ends and be ready by Opening Day to slot into their lineup.

– Nationals left fielder Michael Morse’s timetable is a bit more unknown. Morse is scheduled to begin throwing again on Wednesday for the first time in more than two weeks and hitting is supposed to then come after Morse gets through throwing without any issues.

Morse, though, is clearly getting antsy to get going.

“I was coming out when he was coming in (Tuesday morning) and he had two bats in his hand,” Johnson said. “He said, ‘Don’t tell ‘em but I’m feeling pretty good.’

“I didn’t even want to go there. I had no part in doing it… What he’s doing with bats bringing bats in, the grin on his face made me think he might have gone back to the cages and then come back in.”

– Closer Drew Storen is scheduled to begin his throwing program on Tuesday as he works back into shape after a bout of elbow joint inflammation.