WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is close to a rehab assignment. He could start as early as this weekend, according to a baseball source. It's not known which Minor League affiliate he would play for.
Once he starts, Zimmerman most likely will be a designated hitter for a couple of games. After that, he could play third base, first base or left field. Zimmerman is going to play all three positions once he returns to the big league level, the source confirmed.
During the off-day Thursday, Zimmerman worked out at third base without any problems. Two days before that he was working out at first base. Two weeks ago, Zimmerman was working out in left field.
"I think the most important thing is getting back into the lineup and swinging the bat and hopefully helping us score some runs," Zimmerman told the local media Wednesday. "I feel comfortable whatever makes sense for me to help the team win. I'm not sure if I could pitch or catch, but I feel like I could play pretty much anywhere else on the baseball field and not look out of place. I take pride in being a pretty good athlete."
Zimmermann missed almost two months of action because of a fractured right thumb he injured against the Braves on April 12.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.