Ryan Zimmerman’s sore left hamstring is still sore. He is still not in the lineup. He is available to pinch hit. He does not know when he’s able to return - it could be tomorrow, it could be Sunday, but it won’t be before his hamstring is completely healed.
The status of Zimmerman’s injury is, well, status quo. All his pinch-hit homer on Thursday did was make it so the Nationals have to be extra careful with his return date, since they’ve lost the luxury of backdating any disabled list time to the first game he missed on April 11. It’s why the Nationals are being so cautious with him.
“It’s getting closer and closer every day,” Zimmerman said.
He ran in the outfield on Friday without problems, but still hasn’t tried sprinting yet. That’s the key barrier that must be cleared before the Nationals put him back in the lineup; Riggleman said even in a pinch-hitting appearance, he wouldn’t want to make Zimmerman have to run hard.
“If he hits one that is a potential double-play ball, he’s just going to have to eat it and get doubled up, because that’s where he may aggravate it,” Riggleman said.
The lack of urgency is completely tied to the time of the year; Zimmerman said if it was the playoffs, he’d be playing. But it’s April, and the Nationals have little interest in rushing him back now.
“I think any time you have an injury, the higher up it is on the leg, it takes longer,” Riggleman said. “If you do aggravate it, it’s going to be fairly severe. When we say a day or two, we know it’s probably going to be more than that.”