Moving through the seventh week of his recovery from a fractured right thumb, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was cleared for baseball activities after the Nationals' 3-2 loss to the Marlins on Monday.
Manager Matt Williams made the announcement, and though it represents excellent news for the 25-26 club, a timetable for his return still has not been determined.
"We don’t have a definite on that yet. But he’s taken the next step, which is good," Williams said. "He’s clear to start swinging and throwing, so he’ll start that process. So all signs are good."
Williams stopped short of describing exactly how healed Zimmerman's fractured right thumb is, but the skipper was upbeat about the third baseman's progress. He will now begin taking swings in the batting cage and hitting off a tee.
"We’re going to take it a little slow with the bat because vibration can certainly cause pain, let alone any further damage. But he’s been cleared to do that, which is good.”
Zimmerman played catch from 90 feet before Monday's game and did not complain of any discomfort in the thumb. The 29-year-old has been out since fracturing the finger in an April 12 game against the Braves. The original diagnosis for recovery was four to six weeks.
Zimmerman's timeline for a return will now depend on how his thumb responds to hitting and throwing.
"We'll see how he does with that and progress from there," Williams said.