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Monday, May 5, 2014

Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman (hand) not cleared for strengthening exercises yet

By on 5/05/2014 11:15:00 AM

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman fractured his thumb nearly a month ago, and has yet to make progress toward getting back on the field. For the time being, Anthony Rendon has been filling his spot at the hot corner, but manager Matt Williams could use his power in the lineup as soon as possible.

Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post reported Zimmerman hasn't passed an X-ray test yet, which will eventually allow him to begin hand-strengthening exercises. The original prognosis was for the third baseman to be out of commission for four to six weeks.

At this point, Williams hasn't changed his tune with regard to how long Zimmerman will be on the disabled list, but time is starting to run out if he wants to get activated by the time his six weeks are up.

His injury has been one of many the Nationals are dealing with. Wilson Ramos needed surgery to remove his left hamate bone and Bryce Harper is out until July after surgery on his thumb.

Washington has stayed afloat despite the holes in their lineup, current owners of a 17-14 record, just a half-game out of first place in the National League East.

Zimmerman was also slowed at the start of the season because of a sore shoulder, but didn't require a trip to the DL. Unfortunately, the injury to his hand has allowed him plenty of time to rest. Through 10 games and 33 at-bats this season, he's hitting .364/.405/.636 with two home runs and six RBI.

You can follow Matt on Twitter: @mmusico8.

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