Zimmerman dealing with sore shoulder, won't play again today

A Nationals lineup already reeling from injuries is without yet another key bat for at least one more day: Ryan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was unavailable to bat during Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Mets and won't be in the lineup again this afternoon for the second game of the series after injuring his left shoulder sliding into the plate during Thursday night's win in Houston, manager Dusty Baker revealed.

"I think he hurt his arm or shoulder, really couldn't swing, on his headfirst slide yesterday into the plate," Baker said following Friday night's loss. "I don't anticipate he'll be much better tomorrow, but hopefully on Sunday."

Zimmerman Swings Gray Sidebar.jpgZimmerman appeared to injure himself while scoring all the way from first base on Matt Wieters' single in the top of the 11th at Minute Maid Park. The veteran cleanup hitter had taken at least part of a fastball off his left hand moments earlier. Initially awarded first base by plate umpire Chad Whitson, Zimmerman wound up having to go back to the plate to bat again after the Astros challenged the call and replay officials in New York reversed it to a foul ball.

Zimmerman still made it to first base despite striking out on Tyler Clippard's pitch, which bounced to the backstop. He then was running on the pitch to Wieters, getting enough of a head start to score on the single, though he remained on his hands and knees for a moment after sliding across the plate and appeared to wince as he got up.

In a lineup that has seen Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Michael A. Taylor all land on the disabled list at some point, Zimmerman's ability to avoid serious injury has been a blessing for the Nationals. The 32-year-old is on pace to play in 148 games, which would be his most since 2009.

The Nationals do expect to get both Werth and Turner back within the next few days, with both players having now appeared in five rehab games together between Triple-A Syracuse and Single-A Potomac. Werth and Turner each started both ends of Potomac's twi-night doubleheader Friday, playing all seven innings of the opener and then three more innings in the nightcap.

Werth, who has been out since June 3 with a fracture and bad bone bruise in his left foot, has looked better at the plate so far, going 3-for-11 with a double and two walks in his five rehab games. Turner, who has been out since June 29 with a fractured right wrist, has struggled at the plate, going 0-for-14 with one walk and five strikeouts.

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