MRI exam shows no structural damage in Nationals 3B Zimmerman's shoulder

SAN DIEGO -- You can't blame Nationals manager Davey Johnson for being pessimistic, given how injuries this spring to outfielder Michael Morse and closer Drew Storen went from minor to major issues a few days in. So there was definite relief in the skipper's tone Wednesday when discussing the results of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's MRI exam.

Bottom line: Zimmerman has some inflammation in his sore right shoulder, but no structural damage. He was out of the lineup for a third consecutive game Wednesday and still may land on the 15-day disabled list Thursday if the soreness doesn't dissipate.

Which is a lot different than what Johnson had feared over the preceding 24 hours.

"I was hearing all kinds of things, and we've had that kind of history this spring," Johnson said.

Zimmerman had a cortisone shot in his shoulder but, so far, it hasn't taken effect. As Johnson noted, sometimes those shots don't zero in on the right spot and the pain remains.

Washington's Gold Glove third baseman said Tuesday he did not think he would land on the disabled list. And though he still might -- if he's not better by Thursday, he'll likely receive another cortisone shot and be disabled -- he shouldn't miss much more than a couple of weeks.

He is expected to take some swings at Petco Park on Thursday and the Nationals will make a decision from there.

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