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Nyjer Morgan scratched, undergoes MRI on hip

Nyjer Morgan underwent an MRI exam this afternoon on his ailing right hip flexor, a nagging injury he has played through for two weeks that forced him from tonight's lineup. Morgan may only miss one game, Manager Jim Riggleman said, but the results of Morgan's MRI could reveal something more troubling.

Morgan has dealt with discomfort since the Nationals' series in Cincinnati. He is not certain when he first starting feeling it, but he believes the injury may have cropped up when he collided with the wall chasing a line drive off the fence by Brandon Phillips on July 21. His hip hurts most when he is jogging, not running, and he has routinely felt "a sharp pain" when waking up in the morning, he said.

He assumed the pain would go away in due time, but "it just hasn't," Morgan said. "I felt like it was just a little, minor nagging injury. t's just still nagging. I want to try to nip it in bud."

With the injury hampering him, Morgan has played perhaps his best baseball of the year lately. "That's the most frustrating thing about it," he said. Morgan has hit .308 with a .361 on-base percentage since the all-star break, and on Tuesday he snapped a nine-game hitting streak.

The hip ailment has not affected him in the outfield. On Tuesday, he tracked down a line drive in the left-center gap, robbing a certain double.

"He's been running great and playing great center field," Riggleman said. "It hasn't shown up in his game. But Nyjer and trainer have been talking about it enough that we're going to shut him down for a day at least."

For tonight, the Nationals will use Roger Bernadina in center field and leading off. Michael Morse will play right field and bat sixth, where Bernadina had originally been slotted.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 4, 2010; 7:38 PM ET
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The hip is a complicated joint. I'm surprised that with his weight and stature that he hasn't been on the DL this year anyway. He's maintained his legs all this time and he's played a lot of innings. He can hit alright, he just needs some rest to be effective. That's all there is to it. He's explosive when he gets a day or two off.

Posted by: Brue | August 4, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

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