Aug 11, 2012, 11:42 PM EDT
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Ian Desmond has been making progress in his recovery from an oblique tear.
PHOENIX — Ian Desmond took about 20 swings in the batting cage this evening, the first time the Nationals shortstop has been cleared to do that since landing on the disabled list with a torn left oblique muscle on July 23.
Desmond has been taking grounders and playing catch since Monday, but tonight ramped up his baseball activities to include batting practice, moving him a step closer to returning to the Nationals lineup.
That full return still won’t happen for a while, likely not until early September, though manager Davey Johnson doesn’t intend to hold Desmond back.
“When that man’s ready, I want him back,” Johnson said.
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