Willingham has sore left knee

Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham was given the day off  Wednesday night after seeing his batting average dip from .281 to .262. It doesn’t help that he is 15-for-78 [.192] with no home runs and eight RBIs since the All-Star break.

When approached by reporters early Wednesday, Willingham didn’t have an answer for his second-half slump, but it was revealed by manager Jim Riggleman that Willingham has a sore left knee.

Willingham has had soreness for the last two weeks and had dealt with the same type of injury in April.

Riggleman praised Willingham for playing even though he was in pain.

“Josh is a little banged up. His knee is barking a little bit,” Riggleman said. “We’re going to give him a day off today. We’ll see where it takes us. He is really a gamer, a tough guy. He has played with some soreness for quite a while. Guys like Josh, who have power, you never know what the day is going to be when they come out of their little slump. When they come out of it, they will come out with a long ball or two.”

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