Both Michael Morse and Ian Desmond hope to return from injuries Tuesday in Miami, when the Nationals are scheduled to begin a two-game series against the Marlins.
Morse left Friday night’s game in the first inning after a Kyle Kendrick changeup drilled him in his right hand. The bruised, swollen hand kept him out of the lineup both Saturday and today. This morning, Morse played light catch in the outfield with head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz. He has yet to take batting practice. Morse said his hand still felt sore, but he thinks he can play Tuesday.
Manager Davey Johnson scratched Desmond before Friday night’s game with a mild right hamstring strain, an injury that arose after he hyper-extended his knee running to first Wednesday. Desmond has yet to test his hamstring by running or taking batting practice, but he has been receiving constant treatment and said it is “absolutely” realistic to think he can play Tuesday.
For Desmond and Morse, the Nationals would receive the benefit of their offday Monday as extra rest. Desmond would have five days to heal his hamstring while missing just three games, because the Nationals also had an off day Thursday.
The Nationals have lost both games they’ve played without Desmond and Morse, scoring only four runs against starters Kyle Kendrick and Roy Halladay. The Nationals will have a short bench, too, with only Chad Tracy, Roger Bernadina and catcher Kurt Suzuki available off the bench.