Washington Nationals left fielder Ryan Zimmerman has not played in a month. But there’s some hope on the horizon. Manager Matt Williams was willing to speak openly about a timetable — a very general timetable.
“Sometime in September,” Williams said Wednesday afternoon, via CSN Washington. “When? I don’t know, but sometime in September. I don’t think anything would happen until after [Sept. 1] because he still hasn’t gone [through] the full gamut of tests. And then he would have to have some time to play.”
Zimmerman tweaked his hamstring fielding a ground ball against the Colorado Rockies on July 22. According to CSN Insider Mark Zuckerman, “he has been limited so far to some light treadmill work.” But at this point in the season, the Nationals have shown they can hold their spot atop NL East without Zimmerman in the lineup. They’ll survive a little longer without him if it means ensuring his presence for playoffs.
“The last thing we want is for him to go to early and really do something bad to it,” Williams said. “So we have to be sure when he comes back that he’s ready, that there are no limitations, and he can go score from first (base) and play defense and do all the things that he does really well.”
There is one factor that might expedite the process, however. Zuckerman notes that minor-league assignment ends Sept. 1. Options for rehab-assignment are limited.
He writes, “The Nationals’ options at that point: Have Zimmerman play in some simulated games at the ballpark before batting practice, or send him to Viera for the Florida Instructional League, which begins play Sept. 13.”