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Morse heads to Viera on Monday

May 18, 2012, 9:25 PM EDT

Left fielder Michael Morse is expected to report to extended spring training in Viera, Fla., on Monday, moving one step closer to a return to the Nationals lineup.

Morse, out since March with a torn right lat muscle, took swings off a tee today for the first time since he was shut down from all baseball activities roughly six weeks ago. He also played catch with head trainer Lee Kuntz, throwing from about 50 feet at about 50 percent velocity, and emerged saying his arm and shoulder felt strong.

With the Nationals opening a nine-game road trip next week, Morse will leave Washington and advance his rehab in Florida, where he’ll start getting at-bats in extended spring training games. If that goes well, he will probably play in at least a couple of rehab games with one of the Nationals’ minor-league clubs. He could then be activated off the disabled list in time for the start of their next homestand, June 1 against the Braves.

“I think he can probably make his schedule and come off the road trip,” manager Davey Johnson said today. “It’ll be real close.”

  1. original Nats Fan - May 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    best news I've heard in a whileI have really missed Beast Mode dingers

  2. Theophilus T. S. - May 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Please, don't rush this guy. Another eight weeks off we don't need

  3. NatsLady - May 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Be careful, man, don't rush or do anything crazy. You are much needed here.

  4. Section 222 - May 18, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    At least he won't injure himself applying shaving cream pies while he's down there.

  5. waddu eye no - May 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    oremus

  6. natsfan1a - May 18, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    oremus??Looking forward to having a healthy Morse in the lineup. As NatsLady said, be careful and don't push it.

  7. SFNats - May 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Time for the pendulum to swing back the other way and for the Nats to get some good injury news for a change. Hopefully, the last couple week of the rehab go well and Morse — and DeRosa — will be back by June, with Storen a few weeks later. The DL's too crowded.

  8. Theophilus T. S. - May 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Soon, the bench will be too crowded.

  9. SFNats - May 18, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    No doubt. Rizzo and DJ are going to have to make some tough decisions, but it's a nice problem to have for a change.

  10. JaneB - May 19, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    A too crowded bench is a happy problem. It will mean our regular guys are coming back.

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