Zimmerman: “To be able to deal with things like this is one of our strong suits”

After today’s loss to the Rockies, Nationals manager Matt Williams was able to shed some light on Ryan Zimmerman’s MRI results.

Not much is known regarding a timetable for the third baseman’s recovery, but Williams indicated that Zimmerman’s hamstring strain isn’t a minor one.

“It’s a pretty substantial strain of the hamstring,” Williams said. “So he’s going to fly with us to Cincinnati and he’ll get back from there in the next day or so and start getting some work done on it with the therapist at home. So it’s a pretty good strain.

zimmerman-frustrated.jpg“You never know how they’re going to react, so we’ll just take it day by day. It’s going to be a couple weeks at least. We’ll see where he’s at at the end of that, and go from there. But he pulled it good. ...

“You never know (how much time they’ll miss). You never know if guys heal differently, of course. (Wilson Ramos’) was not that bad. This is a little bit worse than Wilson’s, so we’ll see where he’s at at the end of two weeks, for sure, and go from there.”

Zimmerman also spoke for the first time since suffering the injury Tuesday night and being placed on the disabled list today, but was reluctant to make predictions about how long it will take to heal.

“We haven’t really heard much yet, so it’s hard to say anything on the long-term,” Zimmerman said. “But I’m sore today just like we thought I would be. We don’t really have any sort of timetable or anything like that other than it’s a pretty decent strain and I’m pretty sore today. That’s really all we have.”

Zimmerman had finally gotten his bat on track for the first time since returning from a fractured thumb on June 3. He hit .387 with two homers and 17 RBIs over his last 17 games, raising his season average from .233 to .282.

Considering the fact that he was hot at the plate and this will be his second stint on the DL this season, Zimmerman admitted he’s disappointed.

“Yeah, it’s tough, but those are things that happen. There’s nothing you can really do about it,” he said. “There’s no reason to pout or feel sorry for yourself. I want to be here for these guys. We’re playing good baseball and I think we’ll continue to do that until I get back, and hopefully I’ll get back sooner rather than later.”

It might be more disheartening that the Nats had just gotten fully healthy after spending a good portion of the year without parts of the middle of their lineup. But Zimmerman seems to be taking it in stride.

“It’s part of the game. It’s going to happen. It happens to every team,” he said. “I think we’re fortunate to have a lot of good players on this team. Danny (Espinosa) played a lot this series, hit the ball well, and obviously plays a great defensive second base. Anthony (Rendon), I think showed you how good of a third baseman he can be when I was out before with my thumb, and then our Triple-A team, everyone’s got 20 home runs and however many RBIs. And Zach (Walters) comes up today and gets a hit.

“That’s one of the reasons why we’ve been so good the last two or three years, is because of the depth that we have and to be able to deal with things like this is one of our strong suits.”

Asked whether he felt the Nats could withstand such a loss with the guys they have rather than bringing in someone from outside the organization, Zimmerman emphasized his faith in the players in place.

“I trust in every guy in this room and our organization,” he said. “I think a lot of guys on our Triple-A team would be on a lot of big league teams. That’s basically like a trade, I guess you could say. We have some talented guys down there that can make an impact at this level. We have guys on this team, too, on the bench that haven’t had a chance to play much lately because all of us have been healthy that are going to get a chance to play now. I think they’ll take advantage of it.”

It’s not the first time Zimmerman has strained a hamstring, but he could tell this wasn’t a day-to-day one.

“I’ve done some stuff to hamstrings before, but this one felt a little bit worse,” he said. “But it’s so hard to tell. You never really know. But I felt like I got it pretty good, but it’s tough to speculate about those things. I don’t really know too much about that stuff.”

He also didn’t want to outline a best-case scenario for his return to the lineup.

“I wish I knew,” Zimmerman said. “I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to say something too long or something too short, but we really haven’t had a chance to talk with the doctors at home yet. I think they just saw the images this morning, so once we talk with them and probably once we get home, we’ll probably have a better idea.

“But it’s hard to say and I hate staying stuff early because people always remember whatever you say first, and that’s not good for anyone.”

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