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More Shawn Hill

Manny Acta gave some thoughts on Shawn Hill's situation. He considers it "very encouraging" that Hill's tests showed no damage, but he's also realistic.

"I don't want to be too quick to pull the trigger, but this right now doesn't put him on schedule to be ready for Opening Day," Acta said.

However, don't be too alarmed. Acta is being very cautious publicly. I just checked again, and he spoke with Hill, and it sounds like Hill will only be shut down for a couple of days. This means he won' t have that much time lost -- and arm strength lost -- before he starts throwing again.

Keep in mind, too, how schedules break down at the beginning of the season. After opening on March 30, the Nationals have scheduled off days on March 31, April 8 and April 14. By my calculations, the club won't need a fifth starter -- if everyone's pitching on his regular four days' rest -- until April 13 at the earliest.

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 4, 2008; 8:47 AM ET
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