- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ryan Zimmerman called the right shoulder injury that kept him out of Saturday’s game “really, really nothing.”

The third baseman was a late scratch against the Marlins with what the team is calling “mild inflammation,” but insisted there is no structural damage in Zimmerman’s shoulder. He received treatment during the game but sat out of the Nationals’ 3-2 extra-innings win.

The third baseman, who was on SportsCenter’s ‘Top 10 Plays’ for a backhanded stab earlier in the week and has been making highlight-reel plays a habit this season, said he injured his throwing shoulder diving for balls at third. He said it has been bothering him off and on since.

He began loosening up for the game, but about 30 minutes before the first pitch decided it was best to sit.

“It’s nothing,” Zimmerman said. “It’s something that I could have played through.”

Manager Davey Johnson said he chose to keep Zimmerman out of the lineup as a precautionary measure and will also rest him tomorrow – as he had previously planned to do. After an off day Monday, Johnson and Zimmerman expect the third baseman to be back in the lineup when the Nats travel to San Diego for Tuesday’s game.

Heavy rain is forecasted for the area Sunday and there appears to be a strong chance the game could be rained out, meaning Zimmerman could miss just Saturday’s game with the issue.

“I was going to give him off tomorrow anyway,” Johnson said. “He plays hard and you don’t want to wear him too much down.”

In 2008, Zimmerman was limited to only 106 games after slightly tearing his left labrum sliding into a base, but he insisted this injury is different. He likened the injury to a stubbed finger, and said he would be fine by Tuesday. Zimmerman has not received an MRI and said he has no plans to undergo one.

The third baseman was batting .224 with five extra base hits before missing Saturday’s game. Mark DeRosa got the start at third base in Zimmerman’s place.

“[Davey] was just like, if it’s tight, there’s no reason to do that in April,” Zimmerman said. “I’ll give it these three days off. It works out nicely that we have an off day on Monday, so I don’t have to miss a game there. But I really have no doubt that by Tuesday it will be fine.”

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