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Posted at 12:52 PM ET, 04/22/2012

Ryan Zimmerman still set for Tuesday return after missing only one game

(Evan Vucci - AP)
Today’s rainout provided the Nationals the unique luxury of allowing their dinged-up best player to rest for three days while missing only one game. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman had planned to sit out today’s game, anyway, with right shoulder inflammation that convinced the Nationals to scratch him less than half an hour before first pitch Saturday.

Between yesterday, today and Monday’s scheduled off day, Zimmerman will miss only one game – which the Nationals won, 3-2, in 10 innings – while allowing the soreness in his throwing shoulder to die down. When Zimmerman woke up this morning, he already felt improvement from yesterday, when he felt tightness while warming up in the batting cage.

“It feels much better, not that it was terrible every other day,” Zimmerman said. “These next two days will be nice. Tuesday, I really don’t see any reason right now why I wouldn’t play. It’s definitely nice. It’s very convenient, I guess you could say.”

Zimmerman remained unsure of when or how exactly the inflammation started. He knows he hurt his shoulder on a series of diving plays this homestand, including a leap into home plate while trying to score Monday night against the Astros, on which he was tagged out.

“I have no clue when it started,” Zimmerman said. “I had a chance dive for so many balls. The fourth-and-goal pylon dive into home probably didn’t help. But you can’t tell somebody, you can’t tell any of these guys, not to play that way. That’s just the way we’ve always been taught to play. No matter how many times you get hurt, that’s the only way I’m going to play.”

By  |  12:52 PM ET, 04/22/2012

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