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Michael Morse returns to lineup, playing through left wrist inflammation

Gary Cameron/Reuters

Michael Morse returned to the Nationals’ lineup today after he received an array of treatment on his ailing left wrist. Doctors injected Morse with numbing shots – “a full dose of everything,” Manager Davey Johnson said – to reduce in inflammation in his wrist.

“I’m not real confident in it,” Johnson said. “But the doctors tell me he can’t really hurt it worse. He wants to play, and I want him in there. We’ll see how it goes. … Everything in our offense is clicking pretty good except him. He’s right in the heart of the middle of the order. We need him to do the things he’s capable of doing.”

Johnson’s decision to play Morse, even with the slugger playing at less than 100 percent, is representative of his approach to the Nationals’ current stretch of games. Their magic number to clinch the National League East stands at five with nine games to play, which almost guarantees they’ll win the division. But Johnson will not give any regulars rest until they officially clinch.

“We’re in a pennant race, and we take nothing granted in a pennant race,” Johnson said. “We still got to win five games. So talking about resting them is real premature. There’s no resting right now.”

In the same vein, Johnson said right-handed reliever Christian Garcia will be available. Garcia rested with bicep tightness yesterday, but Johnson will put all bullpen hands on deck from here on, until the Nationals lock up the division.

“Everybody’s available,” Johnson said. “Everybody is going to be available tomorrow. And everybody is going to be available the next day.”