The tarp is on the field at Nationals Park after a fierce, but brief, rainstorm passed through. There are still some gray, ominous clouds overhead, but, at the risk of trying to predict the weather, it should pass in time for tonight’s game and maybe comeback in the late innings. (Tomorrow is another story. Yikes.)

In the meantime, here are some injury notes on a few banged-up Nationals.

>>> Center fielder Rick Ankiel, who has not played since May 2 with a sprained right wrist, took batting practice today for the first time since injuring his wrist; previously, he had only hit off a tee. “It felt real good,” Ankiel said. “I think it’s about coming in tomorrow, seeing how it responds. Then we’ll go from there.”

It seems likely Ankiel will not rejoin the Nationals until a few days after Wednesday, the first day he is eligible to come off the disabled list. Ankiel said that “could be possible,” but he believes he will participate in a minor league rehab assignment. Since Ankiel will probably get a few at-bats in the minors, late this week or over the weekend seems more likely for his return.

>>> Reliever Todd Coffey played catch today after getting drilled in his elbow with a line drive yesterday. He planned on a rigorous icing schedule to keep the swelling under control, but otherwise he felt fortunate. He ruled himself out for tonight’s game, but “should be good to go tomorrow,” he said.

>>> Reliever Chad Gaudin also played catch today, which he hadn’t done in a few weeks. His sore shoulder is still far from being fit for a rehab assignment, so there’s no timetable on when he might be back.