Updates on Morse, Ankiel, Harper

Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters in Jupiter, Fla., before today’s game against the Cardinals that outfielder Michael Morse had a cortisone shot Saturday and could return to the lineup as the designated hitter by tomorrow.

Morse was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup with a sore right lat muscle, and has been trying to work through the problem since then. Some of the pain has subsided, Johnson said, but Morse still feels some problems when he throws.

Johnson said he was “a little concerned” about Morse, but said he was letting Morse set the pace for his recovery.

“He said he wanted to DH Monday, but I’ll see,” Johnson said of Morse. “Probably going to be real sore today because he had (the cortisone injection) done yesterday.”

Outfielder Rick Ankiel, who was scratched from yesterday’s home split-squad lineup with a tight hamstring, underwent treatment in Viera, Fla., and is feeling better after working with a physical therapist and massage therapist, Johnson said.

“(Ankiel) was sore today from trying to break up the tightness in it,” the manager said. “I don’t think it was that severe. The tightness was causing the discomfort. ... I think they got that loosened up.”

Johnson isn’t sure when outfielder Bryce Harper will be ready to return to the lineup. Harper was scratched from Thursday’s lineup with a left calf strain. He has been hitting at Space Coast Stadium, but Johnson has yet to see him run. Johnson wants to see Harper go through a full workout, then take an extra day of rest, before returning.

“Probably not on his schedule,” Johnson said. “Probably on his schedule, he’d be in the lineup.”

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