Doug Fister in big league spring training. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Doug Fister threw three innings and 44 pitches in his second start in extended spring training in Viera. According to Nationals Manager Matt Williams, Fister “felt good,” induced a lot of groundballs and “felt really good with it.”

Fister will stay in Florida for another day to work out and return to Washington on Thursday. He will continue with his every-five-day throwing and his next appearance will be a rehab start on Sunday, Williams said. The tentative plan is for Fister to make the weekend minor league rehab start at Class A Potomac.

Fister is slated to throw four innings in his first rehab start and then increase to five innings in his second one. After that, the Nationals hope that Fister will be ready to rejoin the Nationals. Based on their expected plan, Fister could make his return May 7 against the Dodgers at Nationals Park. The Nationals have an off day the following day, which allows them extra flexibility if needed.

>>> Adam LaRoche is not in the starting lineup on Tuesday because the Nationals are facing a left-handed starter. But Williams said an additional reason, albeit a minor one, is that LaRoche is dealing with a sore quadriceps muscle after being hit by a ball there recently.

Right-handed hitter Tyler Moore is starting instead, only the second time LaRoche is not starting a game this season. LaRoche is still available on Tuesday, Williams said.

“We’ve got two lefties coming in the next three days,” Williams said. “It gives him the opportunity to get a day [Tuesday]. He’s played really well. It’s an opportunity to get Tyler at-bats in the role that we want him in and give Adam a day, some innings anyway. He may be called upon in the seventh inning.”