PHOENIX -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment after playing in his second extended spring training game earlier today in Viera, Fla.
Zimmerman went 0-for-4 and played four innings in the field this morning and reported no problems with his surgically repaired abdominal muscle. He flew back to Washington this afternoon and will report to low-Class A Hagerstown to begin a rehab assignment Sunday.
Hagerstown, which currently boasts top prospect Bryce Harper on its roster, is the lone Nationals affiliate playing at home this weekend. Zimmerman could move up to high-Class A Potomac by Monday or Class AAA Syracuse by Tuesday.
Zimmerman hasn't played since April 9 in New York and had surgery May 3 to repair a torn abdominal muscle. The Nationals said he would be ready to return to the majors in about six weeks, and he's kept himself on or even ahead of schedule.
It's been believed all along Zimmerman wouldn't need to play more than a couple of days in the minors before coming off the DL. Thus, it's possible he'll be activated before the Nationals complete their current 11-game road trip.