Nats’ Morse, Ankiel, LaRoche still hurting

Nationals outfielders Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel and first baseman Adam LaRoche are not allowed to play in Major League exhibition games because of injuries, but they can still get at-bats on the Minor League field, according to manager Davey Johnson.

LaRoche continues to have a left foot problem and feels pain when he runs the bases. LaRoche hurt the foot while doing a baserunning drill last month.

Morse recently had an MRI and it revealed that he still has a strained right lat [back] muscle. Morse, who has played three exhibition games, can still swing a bat, but he can’t throw the baseball.

Ankiel continues to have left hamstring issues and has not played since March 9 against the Marlins.

Like with outfielder Bryce Harper earlier this week, Ankiel, Morse and Ankiel must work out in front of Johnson in order to play in an exhibition game.

“For this time of year, I’m cautious,” Johnson said. “My conversation with the trainer today was, ‘Ankiel, Morse and LaRoche: Treatment here [Space Coast Stadium], they can hit over there [Minor League Field] under your supervision.’ I’m going to be on the cautious side. We got a ways to go. Those guys don’t have to prove anything to me. My main concern is getting them ready. It depends on how quickly they recover.”

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