Nationals reliever Cole Kimball, currently on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, played catch today for the first time since June 9, the last time he pitched in a game.

“I wasn’t throwing close to 100 percent, but I was able to repeat my desired mechanics pain-free,” Kimball said. “I could tell a big difference.”

Kimball does not have a timetable for his return, but he will not throw off a mound for another seven to 10 days, he said. He felt relief both when he received MRI results that showed no structural damage, and when he played catch today with the inflammation having calmed.

“Everything is on the right track to get back to the way I feeling in the spring,” Kimball said.

Meantime, the Nationals are still not sure if Rick Ankiel will need to spend time on disabled list with a strained intercostal (rib cage) muscle. He did not take batting practice with the Nationals today, and has not swung a bat since he first felt pain in his midsection.

The Nationals are carrying an extra position player and only four starters with Tom Gorzelanny still on the disabled list, which gives the Nationals the luxury of more time to weigh whether or not Ankiel needs to spend time on the disabled list or not.