MIAMI -- Outfielder Michael Morse is inching closer to a return from the disabled list, and he will report to Class A Potomac on Tuesday to begin his rehab assignment.
Morse has been sidelined all season with a strained left lat, and he will finish extended spring training in Florida on Monday. Washington manager Davey Johnson said Morse has been fielding ground balls and fly balls and has also done a lot of throwing.
Morse could rejoin the Nats by Thursday's off-day in time for their six-game homestand against National League East foes Atlanta and New York, and could begin playing left field again by June 6, if not sooner.
Last season, Morse belted 31 home runs and drove in 95 runs while batting cleanup for the Nationals. With Morse injured this year, however, Adam LaRoche has settled into the cleanup spot, hitting .295 with eight homers and 35 RBIs.
"[Morse] told me to give him one game and then he could hit fourth for me," Johnson said. "I'll hit him anywhere if I have him. More than likely he would probably fit in the five-hole right now, but we'll see when they let him get in left field."
Johnson also said he is optimistic that infielder Mark DeRosa will be activated soon. DeRosa hit the DL on April 29 with a left oblique strain.