Nationals closer Drew Storen hasn’t pitched in a game in nearly two weeks, and General Manager Mike Rizzo today said Storen has been suffering from strep throat for the past five days. This morning, Storen showed up in the Nationals’ clubhouse and the team’s medical staff sent him back home.

But Rizzo said the team was also planning all along to “go slow” with Storen, after the heavy workload he handled (73 appearances, 75 1/3 innings) in 2011, his first full season in the big leagues.

Tracing an ascending line with his hand, Rizzo said, “We want him going this way right at the end of spring training.”

With 16 more Grapefruit League games to go, Rizzo said there remains plenty of time to get Storen up to speed by opening day.

A couple of additional medical updates:

*Left fielder Michael Morse is roughly in the middle of a one-week shut-down from all baseball activities, as the team tries to let his strained lat muscle heal. It will likely be until the end of this week before he begins working out again, and at least a few additional days after that before he appears in games.

“They told me, ‘For a week you’re not going to do anything,’” Morse said. “You could be healing, and then I do something stupid, and now I have to wait again, even longer.”

*Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang said he feels “much better” after several days of treatment for his strained hamstring. He said he thinks he will begin playing light catch soon, while continuing treatment on his leg. But after Wang injured himself, March 15 against the Yankees, Manager Davey Johnson said he would likely be shut down for two weeks.