Injured outfielder Michael Morse, whose 2012 season debut has been delayed by a pesky lat strain, could come off the disabled list by June 1 when the Nationals open a six-game homestand, according to Manager Davey Johnson.


(Julio Cortez/AP)

“Big and strong as he is. . . . I don’t think it’s going to take much time,” Johnson said. “He’s [already] throwing every other day.”

Morse, whose breakthrough 2011 season included 31 home runs, originally injured himself during spring training, then re-aggravated the injury during a rehab assignment in early April, prompting GM Mike Rizzo to order a six-week total shutdown.

In other injury news, utility man Mark DeRosa, who has been on the disabled list since April 28 with a left oblique strain, has also shown significant improvement and will accompany the team on its upcoming Philadelphia/Atlanta/Miami road trip, with a target of returning by the end of next week.