CHICAGO -- Ivan Rodriguez's attempt to recover from a strained oblique muscle continues to progress slowly, and the Nationals have no set timetable for the 39-year-old catcher's return.
Rodriguez, who hasn't played since injuring himself during batting practice July 7 at Nationals Park, was in Harrisburg today before the Class AA Senators' game. According to the Patriot-News, Rodriguez worked out and is likely to play in games by the end of the current homestand.
Nationals officials sound less confident. Manager Davey Johnson today referred to a recent "setback" for Rodriguez and suggested he's not going to be ready to return for quite some time.
"He's not doing too well," Johnson said before the Nationals' game against the Cubs. "He's pushing it too hard, and he's had a setback. He's just going to have to take it easy and let it heal."
Upon suffering the injury more than one month ago, Rodriguez expressed hope he could return in a matter of weeks. But he's been unable to swing a bat without experiencing pain in his side, and the Nationals sent him home to Miami last week to work with a physical therapist.
When he continued to have problems, Rodriguez flew to Philadelphia to receive an epidural shot. The effects of that shot apparently haven't allowed him to resume full baseball activities yet.
Johnson was non-committal when asked if there's a chance Rodriguez might not be able to return this season. The manager did make it clear he doesn't expect to see the veteran catcher behind the plate any time soon.
"Those injuries take a while," Johnson said. "I don't know anybody that's ever pulled a muscle down in that area and missed less than a month."