Ramos has been on the disabled list since May 16 with a hamstring injury. He had a setback last week running the bases but Johnson said the catcher is making better progress this week.
“I keep reading the reports every day that he is catching bullpens, taking batting practice, he is running the bases,” Johnson said. “We are just being very cautious because he was injured a second time so this time we are really holding him off. He should be playing within the next 10 days.”
It is his second stop on the disabled list. Ramos missed April 14 through April 29 with the same hamstring injury. This time around, he has had a couple of magnetic resonance imagery scans to see where the hamstring is in recovery.
“He had another (MRI) update and it looked fine,” Johnson said. “We thought it was a pull because he has some pain. But it was obviously it was just breaking some scar tissue or something. He probably won’t need any more MRIs.”
Mattheus is at different spot in his rehabilitation from a broken right hand. He has been on the disabled list retroactive to May 20, so it has officially been one full month since Mattheus broke his hand against a locker in San Diego.
Johnson said Mattheus has been working on flexibility in that hand.
“He has been (putting) his hand in rice buckets,” Johnson said. “His bone has healed. They will keep having him do that for a three or four more days before they even start letting him play catch. That will be a slow process. (The rehab process is) not as much as it would be for a starting pitcher but he has got to go through that mound work, throwing every day. Then, getting on the mound every other day, throwing bullpen and getting in front of live hitters.”
The Nationals desperately need some pop back in their lineup and getting Bryce Harper and Ramos back healthy are the top priorities. Kurt Suzuki has been a warrior behind the plate but has struggled offensively, hitting just .171 (6-for-35) with one RBI in his last 10 games.