Manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday that he's hopeful Kendrick (hamstring) will be ready to get some at-bats in minor-league games next week, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.

The Nationals are holding out hope that Kendrick will avoid the injured list to begin the season, but the team won't rush the veteran utility man back from the hamstring strain he sustained March 5. Kendrick was cleared to resume light running this week and has been hitting in the cage, so a return to minor-league action would represent the next step forward in his recovery. Martinez noted that Kendrick would likely need to play the field in a big-league spring game before gaining clearance for Opening Day.

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