The Nationals have started making trainer Lee Kuntz available to the media once a homestand to give a laundry-list update on all of the team's walking wounded. Here are the updates from that session today, plus one that came out of manager Jim Riggleman's pregame press conference.
--Outfielder Josh Willingham, who is getting the night off tonight, has been playing through a knee injury, Riggleman said. He is hitting .192 since the All-Star break, and Riggleman said he's been dealing with knee problems most of the season. He will be out of the lineup today, but Riggleman said the Nationals don't want to keep him out long. "Guys like Josh, you never know what the day is going to be that they come out of a slump," Riggleman said. "When they come out, they usually come out with a long ball or two." Riggleman also said Adam Dunn is playing through some nagging injuries.
--The Nationals are playing it coy with Ross Detwiler's status; he had an MRI on his hip, and is feeling better than he was over the weekend, but Riggleman said he didn't know what was on the MRI and Kuntz wouldn't say exactly what it showed, other than that a surgically-repaired hip isn't going to look normal on an MRI. Detwiler, who had surgery on his right hip flexor in February, was put on the disabled list on Sunday. "We're treating it as a strain right now, and we're going to be (cautious) with it," Kuntz said. "He's only six months out of surgery." He did say that the Nationals are having their doctors review the MRI, as well as Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed the surgery in February. He's day-to-day for now. Stay tuned on that one.
--Nyjer Morgan, who is also on the disabled list with hip tightness, is feeling better than he was last weekend, Kuntz said. Morgan would contend he shouldn't be on the disabled list right now, and the Nationals expect to have him back relatively soon. They will continue to increase his activity level, Kuntz said.
--Chien-Ming Wang is long-tossing and throwing flat-ground sessions in Viera, Fla., "He scuffled a little bit, but he's still throwing," Kuntz said. "I remain hopeful. I know I've been saying that over and over again, but we're kind of in uncharted waters with the kind of surgery he's had." Minor-league pitching coordinatorSpin Williams told Byron Kerr on Tuesday that Wang will throw a side session on Friday, and could go on a rehab assignment if he feels fine after that. If he's not ready to start rehabbing soon, it seems difficult to envision him pitching for the Nationals this season, with the minor-league season ending in early September. Wang, who signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the team in February, is arbitration-eligible after the season, and would be due at least $1.6 million if the team offered him arbitration.
--Jesus Flores is playing catch from 120 feet and hitting in the field in Viera, Fla., but like Wang, Flores is running out of time to get a rehab assignment and return this season.
--Luis Atilano had successful surgery on Aug. 5 to remove bone chips from his right elbow. His return this season, though, seems doubtful once he's able to throw again and build his arm strength back.