May 21, 2014, 3:48 PM EST
Nationals manager Matt Williams gave several injury updates before Wednesday’s game against the Reds, most notably the team’s plans for Adam LaRoche to complete a minor league rehab assignment this week before his return.
LaRoche ran the bases on Wednesday and will have his strained right quad evaluated by the team’s training staff before his next step is decided. Williams said it will likely be a rehab assignment either on Thursday or Friday.
LaRoche said before the game he believes he will play at Potomac on Thursday before joining Double-A Harrisburg to continue his rehab.
“We don’t know, it depends on how he comes through it,” Williams said. “The challenge we have is a Saturday game somewhere probably at night, and then a Sunday day game in Pittsburgh and a Monday day game here.”
LaRoche is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, May 25 when the Nationals play the Pirates. As Williams notes, however, the schedule turnaround could complicate things.
Williams also gave minor updates on Bryce Harper and his surgically repaired thumb, as well as Gio Gonalez who has left shoulder inflammation.
Harper is only three weeks into his recovery and is taking it slow at this point.
“He saw the doctor and the doctor said everything is progressing well,” Williams said. “He’s still only three weeks out, so he’ll start seeing the [occupational therapist] and doing minor things. It’s really early still. We all hope that it’s quick, and he’s 21 and he heals, and that he’s a miraculous healer, but in reality it’s going to take some time. He’ll start doing small things in a controlled environment for mobility and that’s about all he can do right now.”
Gonzalez will throw on Friday in Pittsburgh to test his shoulder after being shut down for nearly a week. He was placed on the DL Sunday after experiencing discomfort the night before while facing the Mets. From there the Nationals will know more about his timeline to return, as an MRI revealed no structural damage.
Williams gave Anthony Rendon the day off on Wednesday simply for a mental break. Williams said to expect both Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth to get days off soon, as well.
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