(John McDonnell)

That Zimmerman won’t return as soon as possible does not come as a surprise – he has been expected to miss at least three weeks since he went on the disabled list. Zimmerman last played April 9, when he severely aggravated a strained abdominal muscle while sliding into second base.

Without their best player, the Nationals have gone 5-2. Oddly, the Nationals are 14-13 in games Zimmerman does not play dating back to the start of 2010.

In the Nationals’ first eight games, Zimmerman hit .357/.486/.536. In the seven games since, replacements Jerry Hairston and Alex Cora have combined to go 6 for 28 with a home run, a double and three walks.