Zimmerman taking cautious approach to hamstring

Zimmerman taking cautious approach to hamstring

WASHINGTON -- It's been a little more than two weeks since Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman sustained a Grade 3 right hamstring strain against the Rockies.

Although he has made strides in getting better -- he is currently running on a water treadmill -- he doesn't know when he'll be back on the field. He is hoping that he can return by the end of the season.

"I don't want to say I will, I don't want to say I won't. It's so hard right now to put a date or a time range on anything," Zimmerman told MLB.com. "We want [the hamstring] to heal and rest a little bit. We really won't know much until we start doing active things. To be honest, I don't know when we are supposed to start doing that. It's in the near future.

"It's tough. It was a pretty significant injury. It's not something you can rush. You rush and come back and the first time you try to run hard, you are going to do something again. We obviously don't want that to happen. I want to come back as soon as I can, help us win more games. It's frustrating, but what can you do?"

After being relatively healthy the first six years of his career, Zimmerman has been placed on the disabled list four consecutive years primarily because of shoulder problems. Zimmerman admits he is frustrated that he can't help the Nationals during the current pennant race.

"This time of the year is why you work so hard in the offseason," Zimmerman said. "It's why you play the game and want to be out there on the field in August and September, when you are competing for a division title. [You are] doing everything you can to win every night. That's why we all play. To not be able to be out there with my teammates, it's tough."

To make up for Zimmerman's absence, general manager Mike Rizzo acquired infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians last week. Zimmerman believes the Nationals made a sound move before the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Trading for Cabrera meant that Anthony Rendon was switched from second base to third.

"Being a fan of baseball, I know how good he is," Zimmerman said of Cabrera. "Obviously, defensively, he is unbelievable. I just always remember him having good at-bats when you needed to have good at-bats. I feel like late in games, he always has quality at-bats. He does a good job grinding it out and coming through in those situations."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.