Fister pitches four innings in first rehab start for Potomac (updated with Williams, Fister comments)

Nationals right-hander Doug Fister completed his rehab assignment for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals on Sunday. Fister went four innings, as planned, and threw 59 pitches, 42 for strikes.

This was Fister's initial rehab start. He is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain.

Fister told reporters afterward that he had good location and spring training velocity. A source at the stadium told me Fister "looked pretty good for his first outing."

Fister allowed six hits, three runs, no earned runs, no walks and struck out three. There were two errors and one passed ball during his outing.

Fister's next start could come May 2. Potomac is on the road at Winston-Salem, but low Single-A Hagerstown is home taking on Lexington.

If all goes well on that rehab start, Fister could make his debut May 7 when the Nationals host the Dodgers at Nationals Park.

Update: Nationals manager Matt Williams said in his postgame press conference after a 4-2 loss to the Padres that Fister threw additional pitches in the bullpen to raise his total for the day to 65. Williams added the Nats would try to get Fister to five innings and 80 pitches in his next outing, which would stretch him out enough to return to the Washington rotation.

Update II: After today's game, Fister was in the Nats clubhouse and offered this assessment of his rehab start with the P-Nats:

"Things didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but feeling-wise, I felt good, I felt strong. I didn't have any issues in the lat, and it's just a matter of knocking off some rust. ... Everything today felt really good. I let a few go and was pleased, not only with the results but the fact that I felt good."

As for Williams' comment that he might need only one more rehab start before making his regular season debut as a National, Fister said he wanted to get through his scheduled Friday outing. But the right-hander acknowledged that Williams' timetable was "a possibility."

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