Alex Brandon/AP Alex Brandon/AP

Christian Garcia was cleared to resume throwing on Sunday and he played catch for the first time in over a month since suffering a partially torn tendon in his right forearm. He threw from 45 feet on Sunday without pain and will throw from 60 feet on Monday.

The Nationals placed Garcia on the disabled list, retroactive to March 22, which means the earliest he could come off is April 6. But given the timetable needed to re-build arm strength, he could likely need another month before returning to game action.

The Nationals still want to stretch Garcia, a reliever last season, into a starter and provide depth for the position in the minor leagues.

Garcia had been pain-free in his forearm for at least two weeks. He was evaluated and cleared by Ken Means, the Baltimore-based hand specialist who recommended the right-hander rest two more weeks out of precaution.