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Posted at 04:33 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Michael Morse cleared to ‘accelerate’ baseball activity, still unlikely for opening day

(Julio Cortez - Associated Press)
Michael Morse will be cleared to “accelerate” baseball activities after a sonogram revealed the slight tear in Morse’s right lat muscle has “flattened out and healed,” Manager Davey Johnson said. Morse will still likely miss the first few games this season, but the test results indicated Morse’s injury will not linger.

“That was the best news I had all day,” Johnson said. “He’ll get back to more of a regular routine.”

The clean bill of health, though, does not mean Morse will begin the season with the Nationals. “I’m not going to be that optimistic,” Johnson said.

Morse last played in a major league spring training March 13, and today he threw for the first time in two weeks, a delay caused by a platelet-rich plasma injection in his strained lat. Morse has not played left field in a game all spring.

And so, even with a clean bill of health, Morse will still likely begin the season on the disabled list. But it means that, barring a setback, Morse should join the Nationals on or around April 10, the first day players who begin the year on the disabled list are eligible to play, so long as they did play in a major league spring game after March 26.

Meanwhile, Adam LaRoche made full-speed turns on bases today, and trainers cleared him to play in a major league spring training. Still, Johnson could exercise caution and hold LaRoche out until Friday, he said.

“I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, and how I sleep tonight,” Johnson said.

Sad news to pass along: Roger Bernadina left the Nationals today to attend his father’s funeral in his native Curacao. The funeral is scheduled for Friday morning, and Bernadina is expected to return to the team Friday night, Manager Davey Johnson said.

By  |  04:33 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Tags:  Washington Nationals

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