Washington Nationals Activate Ian Desmond; Designate Cesar Izturis For Assignment. Desmond In Lineup Tonight.

April 13, 2012;Washington, D.C., USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) throws the ball to first base against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that they'd activated 26-year-old infielder Ian Desmond from the 15-Day DL and designated veteran infielder Cesar Izturis for assignment eleven days after they selected Izturis off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers as a backup while Desmond was down. Desmond missed 25 games total while recovering from a left oblique strain. Before going on the DL, the Nationals' fourth-year SS had posted a .286/.322/.503 line with 24 doubles and 17 HR's in 89 games and 385 plate appearances. Desmond earned his first All-Star selection this summer, but chose to take the time off instead to allow the oblique issue he'd been dealing with to heal, but upon returning for the second half of the season the injury got worse, and the Montreal Expos' '04 3rd Round pick played just seven games before he hit the DL. The Nationals made the announcement of his return this afternoon though there were reports for the last week as he worked out and took BP with the team that he'd be back sooner than expected:

Davey Johnson told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore last week after Desmond had started working out with the team, "'When that man is ready, I want him back.'" After the series finale with San Francisco on Wednesday, the Nats' manager told Washington Times' writer Amanda Comak (@acomak) that Desmond would be back soon. "You can expect Ian Desmond to be activated on Friday," the Times' Ms. Comak wrote, "Still playing sim game tomorrow but, 'He's good to go,' Davey [Johnson] said."

The Nationals also released tonight's lineup, and Desmond's back in there at short and batting sixth for the first game of three with New York this weekend:

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