Michael Morse likely to return for the Nationals home opener

The Nationals plan for Michael Morse to play nine innings in left field at Class A Hagerstown tonight and tomorrow, with an eye on his return Thursday for the Nationals home opener. Morse is eligible to come of the disabled list tomorrow, but he has yet to play a full game and the Nationals see no reason to hasten his return from a strained lat.

“I don’t see any sense in rushing him up here,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “I think it’s going to get colder up here Wednesday. I would just as soon him not make the trip, stay there and get treatment, then be ready to go Thursday. And it depends how he does today and tomorrow.”

Center fielder Rick Ankiel will also play for Hagerstown tonight. Johnson called him “80 percent” in his recovery from tightness in his left quadriceps. Ankiel is eligible to return Saturday, and the Nationals are hopeful he will return at that point.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

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