PHILADELPHIA - Nationals players aren't the only ones dealing with injuries.
Their manager is, too.
Davey Johnson has been battling a toe injury which originally came about back in his football playing days, but has cropped up recently. He's going to see a toe specialist in Baltimore during the Nats' off-day, but scoffed when asked if there's a chance of him missing any games.
"I'm not missing no games," Johnson said. "I'm missing my day off and playing golf and hustling some of the guys on this ball club! That's what I'm missing, and that's what's tearing me up inside."
The specific toe injury Johnson is dealing with apparently can require the toe to be amputated if treatment doesn't work. Johnson said if it ever gets to that point, he'll ditch baseball for good.
"I hope they don't amputate it, because if they do, I'll send them a telegraph from the Bahamas or something," Johnson said with a laugh. "Because that's where I'll be."
Michael Morse hasn't yet taken part in any extended spring training games down in Viera, Fla., just yet, but he'll start doing so on Friday, Johnson said.
The plan is for Morse - who is rehabbing from a strained lat - to play in three extended spring training games, then head out on a rehab assignment with one of the Nats' affiliates. The team is still targeting at least a June 8 return, although he could still be back with the Nats prior to that.
"That for sure," Johnson said of the June 8 target. "There's some people thinking it might be accelerated ahead of that. But we'll wait and see how he comes out of Friday's game.
"In Morse's mind, he's ready tomorrow as soon as he plays in one game. But we want to see is ... throwing is what aggravated his (lat). I'm not too much worried about his hitting, because he's always thinking about hitting, and he's been hitting on the sly through this whole thing. But I'm more worried about him throwing."
Brad Lidge threw off a mound today for the first time since undergoing hernia surgery three weeks ago, and came out feeling good, he said. Lidge threw around 20 pitches, just fastballs. He'll head down to Viera tomorrow and will start getting into games shortly.
He plans to stay in Viera when the Nats are on their road trip and then return to the D.C. area and pitch in four games for various Nats affiliates. If all goes well, his target date to return to the Nats is June 12-13.
Drew Storen will play catch on flat ground on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Johnson said. The Nats' closer still has a little ways to go before he'll be cleared to throw off a mound and get into games.
On a sad note, Mark DeRosa's rehab from a left oblique injury took a detour the last few days, as he's been spending time with his father, who is battling cancer and is not doing well.
DeRosa, who hit and threw today, said he's enjoyed getting back to baseball activities, which have served as a "release" of sorts.
"That's too real for me right now," DeRosa said of the situation with his father. DeRosa hopes to get down to Viera soon to begin taking part in games.