Jayson Werth begins minor league rehab assignment tonight

A day before the Nationals are set to embark on the second half of the season, one of their injured stars is ready to see his first game action in two months.

werth-on-ground-hit-by-pitch-sidebar.pngLeft fielder Jayson Werth hasn't played since Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne ran a 92 mph fastball in on Werth that violently struck his left wrist in the second inning of a Nats' 10-0 win in San Diego on May 16. Tonight, Werth begins his minor league rehab stint for Single-A Potomac, where he'll play left field and bat second against Myrtle Beach at Pfitzner Stadium.

The impact of Despaigne's pitch fractured Werth's wrist for the third time in his 13-year career. The setback was especially devastating for Werth, who missed all of spring training and the first week of the regular season after undergoing AC joint surgery on his right shoulder in early January.

Battling the recovery from the shoulder procedure, Werth spent the better part of his first 20 games searching for his stroke at the plate while his batting average remained submerged below .200. But Werth found some life in his swing in the days before the plunking. He was 5-for-15 (.333) in his last four games, which also included his second homer of the season. Overall, Werth is batting .208 with two homers and 12 RBIs.

Werth joins infielder Anthony Rendon (left quad strain), center fielder Denard Span (back spasms), right-hander Stephen Strasburg (left oblique strain) and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis) as Nationals starters who begin the second half on the 15-day disabled list.

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