Apr 24, 2014, 6:51 PM EST
Nationals manager Matt Williams shared some injury updates on pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister on Thursday, as well as backup outfielder Scott Hairston.
Gonzalez, who was pulled from his Wednesday night start with left shoulder tightness, felt normal soreness for the day after a start on Thursday morning. Williams said he is not concerned at this point, but that the team will have to wait until Saturday to know more.
Gonzalez is scheduled to throw a bullpen session before Saturday’s game against the Padres ahead of his expected start on Tuesday.
“Today he’s normal soreness, after a start soreness,” Williams said. “He’s going to take today and do lots of treatment to make sure he’s good to go. The telling day I think will be when he does his pen. We’ll make sure he’s good there, but you can’t really tell much now. Just 12 hours after, so. The next few days will give us a better idea though.”
Williams said that though they aren’t concerned, they will be cautious to make sure nothing worsens.
“It’s just tightness. I think that just happens over the course of a season anyway. I’m not that concerned about it, I don’t think he is either. We’re going to be careful, but I don’t think there’s any major concern there.”
Fister threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon and is setting up for a minor league rehab assignment on Sunday. Williams expects that to happen with the Potomac Nationals in Woodbridge, Va., and hopes Fister can ramp it up to 60 pitches.
“He felt good. His regular start would be Sunday. I think it’s going to be at Potomac. He felt good in the bullpen today, so he’s good to go for his next one. That one is four (innings) and 60-ish pitches, depending on how he gets through it. Pitch count is one thing, but for reps and working into a real game situation is more important.”
Fister is working his way back from a right lat strain that has delayed his debut this season. He felt normal after the bullpen session, but did tell his skipper his command wasn’t there. Williams, however, is just pleased he didn’t feel any discomfort.
“I talked to him today about it and he said ‘my location wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I felt good about it.’ That’s all I care about, is how he feels because I know the location will be there as he builds and as he gets stronger. Once he works into the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh inning, it will be there.”
The Nationals will evaluate Fister after his outing on Sunday to determine his next step. Williams hopes he can log another rehab assignment – likely five innings and 75 pitches – before he joins the Nats.
Hairston is also nearing his return from a left oblique strain that sent him to the disabled list on April. 6. He took batting practice on Thursday and has a plan outlined for the next few days.
“He’s got a tentative plan that we’re working on,” Williams said. “He’ll do BP in the cage today, tomorrow early BP, the following day he’ll have his regular-type batting practice session where he’ll do all his drills. He’ll do regular batting practice and then we’ll look at getting him into game situations. Good today. He felt good coming in. He’ll do some work in the cage today and make sure. He’ll go through all of his rehab stuff again. He’ll do early batting practice tomorrow and regular batting practice the following day. We’ll see where we’re at.”
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