VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Michael Morse and first baseman Adam LaRoche are not expected to play in a Major League Spring Training game for at least a week.
Morse, who has played just three games during the Grapefruit League season, has a strained right lat [back] muscle. While he can swing a bat, he is not allowed to throw the baseball. Morse believes he will be ready for Opening Day.
As for LaRoche, he had an MRI recently, and it revealed he has a bone bruise and cartilage sprain in his left foot. LaRoche is having problems running the bases. He, too, believes he will be ready for Opening Day.
"I really feel this is going to be put behind [me] shortly," LaRoche said. "I'm going to give it a few days, go back to the Minor League side, get a bunch of at-bats where I don't have to run the bases. As long as I'm seeing some pitches -- I don't care if it's coming out of an 18-year-old's hand. I don't want to fall a week behind as far as seeing live pitching."
Outfielder Rick Ankiel had a full workout in front of manager Davey Johnson on Saturday and is expected to return to action Tuesday against the Mets. Ankiel has not played since March 9 because of a tight left hamstring.