The Washington Times - May 23, 2012, 07:12PM

It seems rare these days that an injury update post on the Nationals will include almost entirely good news, but that’s what we’ve got today, so here goes…

– Right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw his bullpen session early Wednesday afternoon and said it “felt great.” There was no lingering tightness or soreness or fatigue or whatever was bothering him in his previous start and he expects to be good to go for his start on Saturday. 

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Strasburg said Wednesday that he felt the issue in his previous start was made a little bit of a bigger deal than it should have been.

“I’d say so,” Strasburg said. “I mean, if I wasn’t coming off of Tommy John, I think I would have stayed in there. But it is what it is.”

Strasburg will pitch Saturday afternoon in Atlanta against left-hander Mike Minor.

– Michael Morse will play in his first extended spring training game on Friday, the first game action the outfielder will have since he was shut down April 11 with a torn right lat muscle. 

The Nationals are expecting Morse back soon. Johnson said Wednesday that he will be back by the team’s June 8 series in Boston “for sure.” “There’s some people thinking it might be accelerated ahead of that,” Johnson added. “We’ll see on Friday how he comes out of that game.”

The plan for Morse is to play three games in extended spring training and then head north to join one of the team’s minor league affiliates for a few more rehab games. 

– Brad Lidge threw off a mound on Wednesday for the first time since May 1 surgery to repair a sports hernia and he came through the session well. Lidge will depart for Viera, Fla., on Thursday and expects to throw a few more bullpen sessions and a simulated game before he returns to D.C. The plan for him, likely, is to return to Washington when the team comes home next week and then head out on a minor league rehab assignment of about four games.

Lidge said he is on track to return June 12 or 13 but he will have a few checkpoints to pass before he is able to return, one of which being back-to-back appearances in his rehab games. 

Lidge saw Dr. Meyers, who performed the surgery, in Philadelphia on Monday and the doctor told him, “You’re healed, go for it.”

– Manager Davey Johnson has added himself to the injury list. Johnson has been dealing with an infection in one of the toes on his right foot and he’s heading to Baltimore on Thursday to see a specialist.

“I’ll tell you my toe’s not doing too good,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I’m going to go see a doctor in Baltimore and get my toe fixed. I hope they don’t amputate it because if they do I’ll send you a (telegram) from the bahamas or something because that’s where I’ll be.”

Asked if he’d miss any games, Johnson playfully chafed.

“No, I’m not missing any games,” he said. “I’m missing my day off and playing golf and hustling some of the guys on this ballclub.”

– Veteran utliity man Mark DeRosa has been trying to work his way back from a left oblique strain but it’s been complicated recently by some family issues.

DeRosa’s father was recently diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer that he thought he’d beat five years ago. DeRosa has been traveling back and forth to New Jersey to be with his family and that has complicated his rehab. Both he and his father felt it would be best for him to be with the team right now, though, and DeRosa said he hopes he’s getting close to heading down to Florida and returning to the active roster.

Keep DeRosa in your thoughts as he tries to balance family and work, a struggle many of us can relate to.