Back spasms sideline Werth from workout

VIERA, Fla. - Outfielder Jayson Werth took Tuesday off from workouts after reporting to Space Coast Stadium with muscle spasms in his back.

"His back was hurting. ... He didn't work out," manager Davey Johnson said.

The Nationals have escaped serious injuries thus far through spring training, and Werth's back spasms are the first problem substantial enough to cause a player to miss drills.

"It's something I'm not taking any chances with," Johnson said. "I know he worked out a lot in D.C. - hit and worked out - so I'm not worried about him."

How Johnson dealt with Werth's injury is in line with how he's let other established players go at their own pace early in camp. For example, he let right-hander Chien-Ming Wang have an extra day off from throwing last week because the pitcher told him he preferred a two-day break between bullpen sessions.

The lack of even minor injuries tells Johnson that his players came to camp in good shape.

"It also tells me a lot of people came in here geared up, well-prepared to start spring training," Johnson said.

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