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Washington Nationals Injury Updates: Howie Kendrick, Sean Doolittle, Roenis Elías + more

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More injury info on the Nats’ injured players from Davey Martinez’s pregame press conference on Wednesday...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It’s becoming a big part of Davey Martinez’s daily pregame Zoom call with reporters, with the Washington Nationals’ skipper going down the list of injured players to provide some updates on their progress as they work their way back or start developing plans for rehab from the variety of injuries which have hit the defending World Series champions early in the 2020 campaign.

HOWIE DOING TODAY?:

Wednesday’s game was the fifth in a row that Howie Kendrick didn’t have his name listed in the starting lineup for, after his hamstring(s) started acting up over the weekend and the 36-year-old veteran and his manager decided to give him a rest so they could avoid, if possible, having it turn into a long-term thing. But he’s missed multiple games now, so ... what’s their plan?

“I think he’s close,” Martinez told reporters on Wednesday afternoon from Atlanta. “He felt better yesterday. We tried to keep him out there today, we’ll see how he feels during the game. He’s going to run again. We feel with the day off tomorrow he might be ready to go Friday, so we’ll see, and then we’ll reevaluate come Friday.”

Does it make sense, a reporter asked, to put Kendrick on the 10-Day IL at this point since he hasn’t played since last Friday in Baltimore?

MLB: JUL 20 Nationals at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“We could only backdate it three days,” Martinez explained.

“Hopefully by Friday he’s ready, if not we’re going to have to reevaluate the situation, but he is, like I said, he said he felt better yesterday.

“He probably could have pinch hit, but I don’t want to risk it. I mean, he’s getting close and I don’t want to risk him hitting a double or a ball in the gap and him stretching out for a double, and reinjure it, and then we lose him for 3-4 weeks. I know it’s kind of frustrating that he’s not in the lineup, we love when he’s in the lineup, but then again, I said this before, I’m going to take care of him, and he knows that, and get him right, and when he’s in there he helps us win a lot of games.”

DOO’S KNEE:

Sean Doolittle struggled out of the gate in this 60-game MLB campaign, and earlier this month, back on August 13th, the veteran reliever was placed on the 10-Day Injured List, (retroactive to Aug. 11), with right knee fatigue, and after they let him rest up some, he’s back at work at the Alternate Training Site in Fredericksburg, VA, where he threw some, getting off the mound for the first time on Wednesday.

“He threw today,” Martinez said. “He threw 20 pitches. He felt okay. We’ll see how he feels. He’s going to face live hitters and we’ll go from there. He’s scheduled to face live hitters possibly on Friday. They’ve got the day off tomorrow like we do, so he’ll throw Friday, face live hitters, and we’ll see where he’s at.”

IF ROENIS HAD NEVER SWUNG THE BAT:

Roenis Elías went on the 60-Day IL on July 26th with a left elbow flexor strain. The left-hander’s time in D.C. has been injury-plagued, and he hasn’t made much progress.

“He just got a — they’re treating it as a strained forearm right now,” Martinez said yesterday.

“We shut him down. He’s not going to throw for a while, and then he’ll get reevaluated again. As of right now it’s still a strained forearm.”

COVID SCARE:

Braves’ outfielder Nick Markakis, who initially opted out of playing in the 2020 campaign amidst a pandemic, changed his mind when he saw the games begin and rejoined their roster, but on Tuesday he was placed on the 10-Day IL Tuesday for potential exposure to COVID-19. Markakis tested negative, but out of an abundance of caution, he distanced himself from the team. He did, however, play in the series opener with the Nationals this week. So were there concerns about that close contact on the Nats’ side?

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Did the Nationals get tested and go through contact tracing?

“He didn’t test — he didn’t get a test result back, so we don’t know, but yeah, we were asked. Hopefully he tests negative,” Martinez said.

“For the most part we kind of stayed away from him. The only guy we were worried about was [Eric] Thames over at first base. Hopefully he’s good. But we did our due diligence.

“We had tests. Everybody came back negative this morning, so that was good.”

That’s all for now... there will be more updates, we’re sure, when Martinez talks to reporters on Friday afternoon in the nation’s capital.