Mattheus, DeRosa both closing in on a return

You already know all the details regarding outfielder Michael Morse and his return from what he said today was an injury to the teres major tendon around his right shoulder.

Quickly, here are a handful of additional injury updates:

Catcher Jesus Flores was in the lineup today and was set to play for the first time since suffering a hamstring strain Sunday. Flores said he could've played on Wednesday, but the Nats held him out just to be sure. Tonight's rain delay will give him an additional day to let the hamstring calm down.

Backup catcher Carlos Maldonado is dealing with a bit of a back injury, according to manager Davey Johnson, so the Nats will continue to keep three catchers on the roster for now and play things on the safe side with both Flores and Maldonado slightly banged up.

After slamming his right index finger in a bathroom door, reliever Henry Rodriguez "got the thumbs up" (no pun intended) from the training staff and would have been available to play tonight, Johnson said.

Mattheus-throwing-red.jpgReliever Ryan Mattheus (plantar fasciitis) has gotten the boot taken off his left foot and has been throwing from 120 feet, Johnson said. Both Mattheus and Johnson feel the right-handed reliever is close to a return, but trainers are playing things cautiously. Mattheus was placed on the 15-day DL back on May 22.

Infielder Mark DeRosa (oblique) has been hitting a lot recently and could begin a rehab appearance in the near future. Johnson is eager to get DeRosa back to add some more pop to a bench which lost its top pinch hitter - Chad Tracy - to a groin injury last week.

Reliever Brad Lidge (groin) has been throwing to hitters down at the Nats' complex in Viera, Fla. He has been targeting June 12 or 13 as a possible return date.

Another injured reliever, Drew Storen, has been playing catch down in Viera, Johnson said. Storen's timetable for a return is still around the All-Star break.

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