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The medical report

Man this feels like old times -- injuries, injuries, injuries. The one notable difference is that we're talking about minor injuries, not big ones -- at least when it comes to Ryan Zimmerman, Cristian Guzman and Elijah Dukes. But don't worry... we've got Aaron Boone and Shawn Hill updates, too. We're not totally forgetting about the DL category.

Zimmerman first. Won't play today. He had his right hand wrapped in a massive swath of bandaging today. He's still waiting for the swelling to die down before he can really do anything. He looked pretty dismal. At one point, he was just sitting in his clubhouse chair with his head buried in his boxers' glove-sized bandage.

Dukes, who sustained a calf cramp/charley horse in the eighth inning yesterday, is still feeling sore today. Also won't play.

Guzman took infield grounders pre-game, but didn't participate in batting practice. Though he's appeared in two games since his July 25, playing an inning at shortstop in each, he hasn't had an at bat. The team's repeated willingness to throw him into games indicates there's no plan to put him on the DL. (He has a left thumb injury.)

In fact, GM Jim Bowden believes all of these guys should be back this week.

His words:

"(Guzman) is making progress. I think he'll be back this week. I'm not going to guess whether it's Tuesday or Friday. We're going to make sure he's 100 percent; we don't want a setback. It's tough when you have a contusion that far in. But he's making progress. So is Zim. So... I think you'll see them both this week. I'm not going to put a time on it."

And Dukes?

"Elijah is sore today. Again, you'll see him this week."

As for Boone, the team is sending him down to Florida -- he's leaving today -- where he'll follow a training program that should jump-start an eventual rehab assignment. Boone's calf injury, which has already caused him to miss 20 games, has been slow to improve. Still no timetable for his return.

Oh, and Hill.

I asked Bowden today about Hill's role if/when he rejoins the Nats (he targets a September return) because today's pitcher, Collin Balester, replaced Hill in the rotation. So, what happens with Hill in September? Turns out, he'll be back as a reliever.

"I don't think we have enough time to stretch him out to go back into the rotation," Bowden said. "I think he comes back in the bullpen. We'll put an inning plan together to build him up, but there's not enough time to properly do it."

By Chico Harlan  |  August 3, 2008; 1:24 PM ET
 
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