Zimmerman planning to hit off tee on Friday

Zimmerman planning to hit off tee on Friday

WASHINGTON -- According to manager Davey Johnson, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, on the 15-day disabled list because of an inflamed right shoulder, is going to hit off a tee on Friday.

If things go well, Zimmerman hopes to play in a big league game by Tuesday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Johnson is willing to have Zimmerman return without going on a rehab assignment.

"I'll take him cold turkey," Johnson said.

Zimmerman is not having problems throwing the baseball. He has taken infield practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. His biggest program has been swinging the bat.

"He is throwing and doing all that. He feels great, but he still has to wait and make sure he gets by this injury," Johnson said.