DeRosa making progress in oblique rehab

You already know that Michael Morse is progressing in his rehab and is closing in on a return to action.

We can file Mark DeRosa into that same category.

DeRosa, who went on the disabled list April 29 with a left oblique injury, took dry swings, played catch and did some running today, all at about 50-60 percent.

He still isn't ready to come off the DL despite being eligible to do so on Monday, but feels like he's taking positive steps.

"I'm starting to do baseball activities, which is nice," DeRosa said. "I've never had this injury before, so I'm just following what they tell me to do. Pushing it a little more each day and dying to get back.

"It feels a lot better. The first week to 10 days was rough."

There was one bump in the road recently, as DeRosa suffered a bit of a setback when he high-fived Bryce Harper too forcefully in the Nationals' dugout following Harper's steal of home last week. That's led to a few jokes in the clubhouse, including some from DeRosa's manager.

"I told him, 'I don't want you high-fiving with your (left) hand anymore.' We've got some pretty strong guys on the club who like to hit hard," Johnson said. "But he said yesterday that he wasn't having any discomfort. I think he's about a week away."

One thing which DeRosa is happy about is that he'll travel with the Nats on their upcoming road trip, which will allow him to be with his teammates and work out with the club.

The 37-year-old isn't really sure what will come next in his rehab, but at some point soon, he'll head down to Viera, Fla., to get some at-bats at extended spring training.

"I think it's all predicated on how I feel day-to-day," DeRosa said. "The better it feels, do more. Today was a big day. I did a lot today. So come in every day and see what they have planned for me. I'd like to be back as quick as possible, but I don't want to go back to square one, either."

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