Flores’s back issue could mean that Sandy Leon will see more playing time at catcher. Leon was recalled from Class AA Harrisburg this week to replace injured backup catcher Jhonatan Solano.

Johnson said Flores’s back injury hurt him most when he swung. His nagging back also partly coincides with Flores’s recent slump at the plate. The right-handed batter was hitting .252/.292./384 at the start of the month, but his batting average has dipped to .227 because of a 5 for 39 skid this month.

Flores said Sunday morning that his back felt a little better and admitted it bugged him the day before, but he wanted to play. Despite his struggles at the plate, Flores has helped guide the Nationals pitching staff to the lowest ERA in the majors. Any worsening to his condition could be tough for the Nationals.

“I don’t need to be aggravating injuries to my players,” Johnson said.

In other injury news, Johnson said he received encouraging reports on Jayson Werth and Chad Tracy, who both played in the Class A Potomac on Saturday night. Both likely need another week of rehab and could re-join the team when the Nationals return home on July 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“It would be good to have those two guys back,” Johnson said.

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