The Nationals expect shortstop Ian Desmond to return to their lineup Saturday night and miss only one game with a swollen right hand, Manager Matt Williams said.
Desmond exited Thursday night in the eighth inning after he took Darren O’Day’s 88-mph fastball off the base of his palm. He tried to remain in the game, but he could not grip the ball and throw it across the diamond during warmups. The Nationals appear to have dodged a severe injury, because the ball struck him in the meaty part of his hand, missing any bones.
“I don’t expect it to be more than just today,” Williams said. “We’ll see it how it goes. With a night game tonight and a night game tomorrow, I think he should be fine. It’s day to day.”
The Nationals have the option to rest Desmond all weekend in Philadelphia, which would allow his swollen hand a full week to heal with the all-star break. But Williams does not think it will be necessary for Desmond to miss the next two games.
“You get hit a baseball, it’s sore,” Williams said. “If it was an emergency – certainly, if it was October – he’d be okay. He would play [Friday]. We want to give him a day and calm it down, make sure he’ll be ready to go for the next two.”