Zimmermann to pitch July 3 for P-Nats

Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann continues to rehab with no setbacks in Florida and told me today he is scheduled to pitch for the Potomac Nationals against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, July 3 at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge.

Zimmermann threw another simulated game today in Florida that went very well, tossing three innings and 50 pitches. "My velocity on my fastball was very good, I think it came in at 94 miles per hour."

Zimmermann is absolutely thrilled he will finally be able to pitch in a real game after going through Tommy John surgery last year.

"I am definitely pretty excited right now."

His return will come just 318 days after surgery August 19 of last year.

The Nats 2008 minor league player of the year has another side session on Wednesday and then will pitch Saturday, July 3 for the Potomac Nationals.

He told me he expects to go two innings in that game. Then, if everything goes well, he says they plan to let him go three innings in his next start. Then the next game they plan to let him throw four innings, then five innings, etc.

"My arm feels pretty new. I had a little tenderness after a simulated game, but that felt like normal arm soreness. The difference is I am bouncing back ten times faster than before."

He will shuttle back and forth to Florida for the next couple of weeks. Zimmermann will be back in D.C. July 10-11 with the Potomac Nationals playing at Fenway Park.

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