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Ian Desmond out with sore thumb, will return tomorrow

Shortstop Ian Desmond is sitting for the second consecutive game tonight with a sore right thumb, a minor ailment that has nagged him for much of the season. Desmond will return tomorrow, Manager Jim Riggleman said, and the back-to-back days out of the lineup are merely a precaution.

Riggleman gave shortstop Ian Desmond the day off Monday, figuring it was about time. The Nationals are in the middle of 16 games in 16 days, and Desmond had played in most of them. During batting practice Monday, Desmond approached Riggleman and told him, "You picked a good day to give me a day off. My thumb is kind of bothering me." This afternoon, Riggleman inspected Desmond thumb in his office.

"It didn't look too bad," Riggleman said. "But I said, 'You know what? Let's give it one more day.' "

Desmond lobbied to play, but Riggleman wanted to make certain Desmond's thumb heals. Desmond took groundballs as the Nationals took infield/outfield before batting practice and said his thumb feels "awesome."

This month, mostly hitting out of the second spot, Desmond has played the best baseball of his rookie season. In 80 plate appearances this August, Desmond is hitting .375 with a .423 on-base percentage, a .528 slugging percentage and two home runs. He's been able to produce despite the lingering thumb issue.

"It's been off and on," Riggleman said. "He's been playing great, as we all know. He's a tough guy. He was not going to come out of the lineup. I gave him a day off. It just so happens he could use a day or two to let this thumb calm down."

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 24, 2010; 5:47 PM ET
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Next: Surgery scheduled tomorrow for Josh Willingham


Thumb eh? Same problem Yunesky Maya apparently has ...

Posted by: periculum | August 24, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Utley was out for ages with a bad thumb.

Posted by: longhorn64 | August 24, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

His thumb is fine. This is likely a non-story.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 24, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's time to bring up Danny Espinoza. Maybe some competition will help heal the thumb faster.

They want to put Espinoza at 2nd w/ Desmond at SS, but Espinoza's a legit SS & has hit at every level.

No better time than now to give the fans a glimpse of the young & talented future management keeps speaking about.

Posted by: dodgertown | August 25, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

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