(Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

Desmond, 26, was selected to his first All-Star Game this season by National League all-star manager Tony LaRussa. But after consulting with team doctors, Nationals management and LaRussa, the Nationals announced that Desmond would sit out the game.

Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Bourn will replace Desmond on the roster.

In his third full season in the majors, Desmond is enjoying a career year. With a home run in Saturday’s game, he leads the team in home runs with a career-high 16. He is hitting .279 with 24 doubles and 48 RBI, second-most on the team. Desmond, considered a leader by his teammates, has also played solid defense, making not only the routine plays but the difficult ones.

Desmond has put up career-high numbers despite that nagging injury to his side. He has played in every Nationals game this season except one, and was nearly held of a game in mid-June because of it.

Desmond has been a constant in an injured and, at times, slumping Nationals lineup. He is among the longest-serving Nationals, in the organization since he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 2004. He made his major league debut in 2009 and struggled. Now, in his third full season in the majors, he has developed into one of the best shortstops in the NL.