Nationals Injury Updates: Will Ryan Zimmerman be back on Tuesday? Gio Gonzalez's sim game

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' 3B/LF Ryan Zimmerman will make his fourth rehab appearance with the Potomac Nationals tonight and he might be ready to return to the majors after that. Matt Williams would prefer he not slide headfirst in the minors...

Ryan Zimmerman played seven innings for the Potomac Nationals on Sunday, going 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs in the P-Nats' 12-11 win over the Salem Red Sox.

In three rehab starts so far, the 29-year-old Washington Nationals' 3B/LF is now 3 for 10 with Sunday's double his first extra base hit. In his third game, he got a chance to test the right thumb he fractured diving back into second base as he got picked off in an April 12th game against the Atlanta Braves.

"He ran the bases effectively. Went first-to-third, was caught in a rundown between third and home, I believe, and slid headfirst back into third with no issues." -Matt Williams on rehab outing no.3 for Ryan Zimmerman

Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked after the Nationals' 2-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Sunday, if he received any updates on Zimmerman's outing with Washington's Class-A affiliate.

"2 for 4, an RBI single and a double," Williams reported. "He ran the bases effectively. Went first-to-third, was caught in a rundown between third and home, I believe, and slid headfirst back into third with no issues."

Williams let out a mock sigh at the point, feigning exasperation over the fact that Zimmerman would test his thumb like that in a minor league game. Luckily, nothing went wrong for the right-handed hitting and throwing '05 1st Round pick, who's playing left field for Potomac, and appears likely to do the same when he returns to the majors. A few balls were hit his way in left yesterday.

"He had three chances," Williams said. "Had one fly ball, a couple of balls went out there. Did fine. So, he's got another one tomorrow."

The Nationals want Zimmerman to play a full nine innings today and they're hoping that he can return to the nation's capital after that and play in the first game of three with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.

"That's the plan, yeah," Williams said, referring to Zimmerman playing nine tonight. "He went seven today. No problems. No more rundowns though."

Bonus Update: Gio Gonzalez threw a simulated game before the Nationals' series finale with the Rangers, and Williams said everything went well for the left-hander who landed on the 15-Day DL on May 18th with inflammation in his left shoulder.

"Gio was good," Williams said. "After the session today, he reported that he felt great. So we'll look to a rehab start in the coming days. But he came out of it great."

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