Ian Desmond May Return By Friday? Anthony Rendon In September? Washington Nationals' Manager Davey Johnson's Pregame Comments.

June 25, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) runs to third base on a triple during the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Washington Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond went down with an oblique tear and has been out of the lineup since July 21st. Before he went on the DL, the 26-year-old infielder had a .286/.322/.503 line with 24 doubles, two triples and 17 HRs in 89 games and 385 PAs so far this season. Desmond's missed 23 games, but there were positive reviews after he went through BP and his normal preparation for a game before last night's series opener with San Francisco and he was scheduled to do the same tonight and tomorrow. When Desmond took his first swings earlier this week, Davey Johnson told reporters, including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, "'When that man is ready, I want him back.'" Asked yesterday what the plan for Desmond was going forward, Johnson told the WaPost's reporter, "'I’ve got a game plan, and I’m not telling you... I want to get through these days here.'"

The message out of today's pregame meeting the manager was slightly different:

The second part of that tweet might be more surprising than Desmond's earlier-than-expected potential return considering that Anthony Rendon, the Nationals' 22-year-old 2011 1st Round pick just made the jump from High-to-Double-A today after missing significant time recovering from a slight fracture of his ankle. Rendon's 1 for 3 as of the seventh inning of his Double-A debut tonight. In 22 games and 78 PA's before tonight's game, the Nats' infield prospect has put up a .308/.423/.615 line with five doubles, three triples and three home runs. A September call-up? Be interesting to see what Johnson's actual quotes on the subject are...

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