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Ryan Zimmerman likely to return in Florida

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, out of the starting lineup for six straight games with a sore right hamstring, probably will not start again until the team's trip to Florida to play the Marlins in a three-game series starting on Thursday.

But while his absence may have been longer than initially expected - what was believed to be a cramp in the hamstring has turned out to be more serious - Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman on Tuesday said Zimmerman would not be placed on the disabled list.

"We're pretty much going to wait it out in this weather until we get to Florida," Riggleman said of the 50-degree temperature in Chicago.

The Nationals have taken a cautious approach with Zimmerman, particularly this week in windy Chicago, where the Nationals are facing the Cubs in a three-game series that opened on Monday. The warmer temperatures in Florida could be more conducive to his return to the lineup.

"Obviously, it's not the best weather for a hamstring," Zimmerman said of Chicago on Tuesday. "I'm getting better and better each day. We just want to make sure 100 percent when I come back it's a non-issue, don't have to worry about it for the rest of the year."

Zimmerman, who has been used as a pinch hitter, has gone through his normal workout routine since Sunday, but he said he has yet to run in a full sprint. He said he would try to run more on Tuesday, depending on how he felt after getting loose.

By Mark Viera  |  April 27, 2010; 7:20 PM ET
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  
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I see the Nationals are using the same trainers as the Wizards and the Redskins the we don't have a clue crew,how does a "cramp" become a serious hamstring issue their is a distinct difference between a cramp and a hamstring pull i've experienced both, a cramp comes from a lack of proper hydration(water/gatorade) on a hot or humid day a hamstring injury occurs when like i said in yesterday's post the hamstring hasn't been streched properly or conditioned with proper exercise you don't pull a hamstring unless that muscle has not been conditioned properly.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 27, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought Thursday was a day off and they started the series with the Fish on Friday ... ?

Posted by: stephen9885 | April 28, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry Zimm. We're doing Ok while you're out. Rehab well. We have something good going on.... and then you will be back!! I'm waiting to see more of your walk-offs!

Posted by: Pete433 | April 28, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

While it is true that the best conditioned atheletes rarely pull hamstrings, there are many that do. Zimmerman has always been one of the better conditioned atheletes and it is probably wrong to assume that off-season slothfulness or a bad conditioning program led to this issue. Hamstrings can go with the best of them - ask folks like Pele, Dominic Hasek, Fred Taylor and Troy Vincent.

Posted by: Natstoyou | April 28, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Stretching helps of course, but it's not the root cause of the problem. Hamstring strains/pulls/tears occur when there is an imbalance in strength between the quadriceps and the hamstring. The quad's job is to straighten the leg, the hammy's job is to bend it back, when the quad is stronger it overpowers the hamstring and causes the strains, pulls, and even tears in extreme cases.

Even with professional atheletes, the hamstrings tend to not get enough work in the gym compared to the quads. Squats and leg presses are more of a 'glamour' exercise (the lower-half equivalent to bench pressing). People take note of how much you can squat, no one asks how much you can do with hamstrings curls, causing people to focus on one more than the other, and hamstring curls just aren't much fun, but they are crucial. I learned this the hard way and throughly researched how to keep hamstring trouble from happening again.

Posted by: dabagley | April 28, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

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