Before today, Zimmerman had only walked, “and that he was it,” he said. He feels some swelling and soreness, which is to be expected, but less so than in the days immediately following the surgery. He has always deals with scar tissue from the surgery. Still, the mental aspect has been more challenging than the physical recovery.

“That’s the hardest part, being patient,” Zimmerman said. “Just sitting around, watching them play, not being able to do anything, is hard to do.”

Zimmerman, who is rehabbing in Washington, watched every game of the Nationals’ nine-game road trip, a weird sensation. He text messaged teammates during and after games, talking about certain situations. The Nationals have gone 15-14 without Zimmerman this year.

“They’ve been playing good,” Zimmerman said. “The pitching has continued to be great. The defense has been really good as well. The hitting is starting to come around. It’s always tough when you’re missing some pieces or some people are banged up. They’ve been fighting to get some runs across, and that’s a tough road trip to score some runs on. They did a good job the last two series after getting beat up a little that first series. It’s hard to come back and win two series against Florida and Atlanta. It shows you what this club is all about.”