Zimmerman on return: "I think Tuesday is a realistic goal"

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (right thumb fracture) got his swings in a rehab game Friday night for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals in Woodbridge, Va. The P-Nats defeated Salem 5-4 in 10 innings.

Zimmerman had a RBI sacrifice fly in the first inning, finishing 0-for-3 with the RBI. He was the designated hitter.

Zimmerman told reporters at Pfitzner Stadium that he believes he will play there through the weekend and then be activated for Tuesday's game against the Phillies, barring any setbacks.

"Yeah, I mean if everything goes well, I think three more games here," Zimmerman told reporters. "Obviously, I need to play nine innings before I go back just to get that under my belt, get my legs kind of ready for that.

"I think Tuesday is a realistic goal."

Zimmerman believes he will play some left field, first base and third base while rehabbing with the P-Nats.

"I am going to play kind of all over the place," Zimmerman said. "I think I will probably play some left here because I never have to get some innings there and get used to that. Took ground balls at third yesterday and felt OK. I have been taking ground balls at first, obviously working in left a little bit. I guess I will probably play more left here I would imagine just to get some innings out there and get some experience out there."

Zimmerman said he does not have a preference as to what position he plays when he returns.

"It doesn't matter to me," Zimmerman said. "Like I said before, any of those other up there would do the same thing. If it gives us the best chance to win. That's what we are all in it for so if I can feel comfortable out there, feel like I am not going to be a liability out there and I can help the team gives us the best chance to win then I am all for it."

Zimmerman also does not believe he will reinjure the thumb just by playing, unless he hits it in the exact same spot.

"You can't do anything to it unless you do the same thing to it," Zimmerman said. "So there is no reason to worry about that. Obviously, you are only going to get about four games of at-bats. It's never really taken me long to get ready to hit, but obviously I would like to have a little bit more (games), but on the other hand, I'd rather not waste hits down here. I'd rather go up there and get hits."

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