Jul 18, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman went through an extensive workout at Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon to test the plantar fasciitis in his left foot with head trainer Lee Kuntz and manager Matt Williams looking on. He took batting practice, he fielded grounders at first base and practiced throws to second, he also did baserunning drills.
Zimmerman broke a sweat, but must have felt good afterwards, as he helped the groundscrew move the on-field batting practice cage when he was done.
“It feels good. Groundballs, at the plate, everything feels good,” Zimmerman said. “I think I’m close, I don’t know when. It’s going to be kind of a matter of how I feel tomorrow and what’s going on. It’s more of a day-to-day thing, but I’d say probably soon.”
Baserunning is one of the biggest keys for Zimmerman before he departs for a minor league rehab assignment.
“Obviously, you can only kind of simulate game speed so much, but it’s a definite improvement to where it was a month-and-a-half or two months ago. It’s a positive. For a while there we didn’t know what we were going to do. But the stuff we’ve done over the last couple of weeks has made it a lot better,” Zimmerman said.
“The goal is just to get it to the point where I can most of all run. I’ve gotta be able to score on a basehit from second base. I can’t force Matt to have to – if it’s a one-run game in the seventh – have to switch, because then you cause a whole lot of problems. That’s the last thing we wanted to do because that kind of hamstrings us as a team.”
Zimmerman continues to work out with a specially-made orthotic in his left cleat. He said he is getting used to the feel of it and will use one for the rest of the year.
“I’ll play with it for the rest of the season. Those things nowadays are so advanced, it’s almost better than wearing a regular shoe because it’s made for your foot. If you’ve never had problems with your feet then you don’t really mess with them, but if you do it’s a pretty simple fix,” he said.
Zimmerman knows the problem will likely not be fully resolved until the offseason and he’s comfortable with that. He is just hoping to return soon and help out a Nationals team that also has Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth nearing their returns.
“You just have to manage it. A lot of people deal with it. There are so many different severities of it. I’ve talked to doctors and nobody really knows how to fix it. It’s one of those things where some people get it and it goes away in two weeks. Some people get it and it never goes away, they have to get it surgically repaired. There are so many different severities that it’s hard to tell,” he said.
Zimmerman has been on the disabled list since June 10 and is batting just .209/.265/.346 in 56 games this season.
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