Hamstring hampers Zimmerman's return

Hamstring hampers Zimmerman's return

CHICAGO -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman didn't start in his fifth consecutive game after tweaking his right hamstring against the Rockies this past Wednesday.

Zimmerman said the hamstring is getting better, however the weather is playing a role as to why he is not in the lineup. It's expected to be windy and cold Monday and Tuesday night and the team does not want Zimmerman getting hurt in abnormal conditions.

Manager Jim Riggleman declined to say if Zimmerman is out for the three-game series against Chicago.

"He is making a little progress," Riggleman said about Zimmerman. "Still, he feels [the pain enough] where if he busts out of [the box] really hard, he has a chance to aggravate it. In this cold weather, we are going to be conservative on how we use him. We are going to use him strictly as a pinch-hitter right now."

Zimmerman entered Monday's game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and flied out to deep right field.