Desmond playing through oblique soreness

Desmond playing through oblique soreness

WASHINGTON -- Though he will remain in the Nationals' lineup, shortstop Ian Desmond is dealing with an oblique injury that bears watching in the final two games against the Yankees.

Manager Davey Johnson revealed on Saturday that Desmond has been dealing with the injury since Friday, and he initially thought Desmond might sit out Saturday's game against the Yankees and possibly miss Sunday's as well.

"I did talk to [Desmond], and he said he felt better [Friday]," Johnson said. "He was in the hot tub earlier. My tendency is always to nip it in the bud."

Desmond has sat out only one game this season and has been one of the Nats' steadiest contributors at the plate, batting .266/.295/.441 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs entering Saturday, the latter two marks trailing only first baseman Adam LaRoche.

"He's been an iron man," Johnson said.

Johnson said that if Desmond was sidelined, second baseman Danny Espinosa would slide over to shortstop and Steve Lombardozzi would play second. Since blossoming into the team's leadoff hitter, Lombardozzi has primarily played left field, though he did spend nine straight games at third base in late April and early May.