- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2015

Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said Monday that he is “close” to returning.

Werth said playing on Opening Day was discussed, but he’s not quite ready. The Nationals placed him on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, retroactive to March 27.

Werth had surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder this offseason. He had been playing in minor-league games during spring training.

Wanted to play, wanted to be here today,” Werth said. “Just got a couple more hurdles to cross before I am ready to go.”

He’ll be in limbo for the next three days because there are no minor league games to join until Thursday. Werth said they don’t have an exact plan for the next three days, but assumes he will work through live batting practice and other drills.

“I need some more at-bats,” Werth said. “Still dealing with mild discomfort. Nothing crazy. It’s gotten a lot better. I’m close, I’m really close. We talked about playing today.

“There was a 9 a.m. game yesterday in the minor leagues. I figured if I could play yesterday at 9 a.m., I was going to play today. Just wasn’t feeling that up to it. … I said all along my goal was to be back on one of the opening days. If not here today, then in Boston. I still have a chance to accomplish that goal.”

The Nationals play in Boston next Monday for the Red Sox’s home opener.

Tyler Moore was in Monday’s starting lineup and playing left field in place of Werth, who is among a handful of regulars missing for the Nationals to open the season. Michael Taylor started in center field for Denard Span. Yunel Escobar was at third base in place of Anthony Rendon. And, Dan Uggla was at second base because of Escobar’s move to third.

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