Turner ready to return but will defer to Nats’ medical decision

Trea Turner went through a full round of pregame drills this morning and suggested he’s ready to come off the disabled list Wednesday when he’s eligible, but acknowledged the Nationals may want to be more cautious in bringing him back from a mild right hamstring injury.

Turner ran sprints in the outfield, took full batting practice and fielded grounders at short before today’s series finale against the Phillies. That heavy workout left him optimistic he could return to game action as soon as possible.

“I feel like I could be,” he said. “Whether or not that happens, I don’t know. We obviously have to talk to (the Nationals’ medical staff). Those guys are in charge. They want me to take it slow, as should I. I want to nip it in the bud right now and not have to deal with it ever again. So we’ll see. I hope so, but as of right now, I don’t know.”

Turner Slides Third Gray Sidebar.jpgTurner injured himself April 8 in Philadelphia, first feeling something in his hamstring on a first-inning stolen base attempt and then coming out of the game after being unable to score from second on a base hit to right. The Nationals decided not to wait long before placing him on the newly created 10-day DL, making him eligible to return Wednesday when the team is in Atlanta.

Turner was hopeful all along he would be good to go after the minimum 10 days on the shelf, and his progress since then has only bolstered that belief and perhaps caught club officials off-guard.

“I think I keep surprising them a little bit,” he said. “I’m just trying to be honest with myself and them. We take it as slow or as fast as we need to. But I feel like everything’s pretty good. I feel like I’m a little bit ahead of schedule, in their eyes. I don’t know about mine. Mine, I feel like I’m still behind, you know?”

Turner said there has been no lingering pain in his hamstring - “I’m good. I did nothing to the muscle, so there’s no muscle stuff. I didn’t actually even strain it, really.” - and there’s only one remaining baseball test: a stolen base attempt.

The Nationals could try to get Turner at-bats and baserunning practice in a minor league rehab game in the next day or two. That wouldn’t necessarily be his preferred course of action, but he understands he’s not the one calling the shots.

“I don’t want to, but obviously that’s just me,” he said. “I want to get back here as fast as possible. And if I’m ready to play, I’d like to play here. But they have the protocol. This is my first time ever going through this. So whatever they ask me, I’ll probably end up doing. But hopefully I get back here as fast as I can.”

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