Rounding up the Nationals' injury udpates

I wonder which part of the "How to Be a Major League Manager" handbook covers addressing your team's injuries with the assembled media before every game. Nationals skipper Matt Williams has been spending an inordinate amount of time each day recapping the various ailments that have befallen the Nats and how players are progressing, and Tuesday in Miami was no different.

So without any further ado ...

Outfielder Bryce Harper's quad is fine, as is outfielder Nate McLouth's sore left knee. Both players are in today's starting lineup.

So is catcher Sandy Leon for the fourth time in six games, as the Nats continue to let catcher Jose Lobaton's bumps and bruises heal up. Lobaton had a particularly rough game in Atlanta on Saturday, taking shots to the hand and leg, and Williams wants to give him a chance to get completely healthy.

To hear Lobaton tell it, however, he's ready to go.

"I feel fine. Like I said, I'm ready to play every day, no matter what. ... I don't really like (not playing). If I see the lineup, I see my name and I'm happy," he said.

Catcher Wilson Ramos, on the 15-day DL following surgery to remove the hamate bone in his right hand, has had his stitches removed, Williams reported. Ramos is concentrating on fitness until he's cleared to begin using his hand for baseball activities.

Center fielder Denard Span, on the seven-day concussion disabled list following a collision on the base paths with Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla, has ratcheted up the intensity level of his workouts with no adverse effects. If all goes well, he will fly back to D.C., ahead of the team and get checked out, with a weekend minor league injury rehabilitation assignment a possibility.

"He's got to play in games," Williams said of Span. "Activity's great - BP and lifting and all that. But a 95 mph fastball's a little different. That's part of the rehab process, too. We'll see how he goes today, how he feels tomorrow."

Span has passed all the concussion-related protocols and even had a chiropractor work on adjusting his neck. He said he scored better on a computer portion of the test program than he did when it was first administered in 2008. That's no small achievement for a player who lost most of the 2011 season to a concussion and its aftermath.

"I think it just shows how far along I've come since 2011 to now," Span said. "Even to have a collision like I had three days ago and to be feeling so good today, it just shows how far I've come."

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right thumb, won't need surgery, Williams said. Further X-rays showed the affected bone is in place, but the original timetable of four to six weeks on the shelf remains. Once the Nationals return home from their road trip, they'll devise a rehabilitation program for Zimmerman to follow, the manager added.

"He's just healing up," Williams said. "Of course, bones take time. ... Everybody heals differently."

Coming off his 50-pitch bullpen session yesterday, right-hander Doug Fister reported no problems with the strained right lat that sent him to the DL. Williams said the Nationals would give Fister a couple of days before determining when he could pitch in a simulated game, which will happen once the team is back in Washington.

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