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Jayson Werth has been hampered by back spasms the last few days.
Four players did not participate fully during today's session: outfielder Jayson Werth (back), first baseman Adam LaRoche (ankle), utilityman Chad Tracy (knee) and right-hander Yunesky Maya (flu-like symptoms).
The Nationals consider none of the ailments significant at this point and all were held out more for precautionary reasons than anything, according to manager Davey Johnson, who said he made the decisions to hold them out.
"I would just rather [take one] step back, [then] take two steps forward rather than keep plodding along," Johnson said. "And that was strictly on me. That was not anything from the training room. They all had the green light."
Werth missed yesterday's workout entirely with back spasms. He was still dealing with the issue this morning, though he did take an early round of batting practice on his own, shagged flies later and ran conditioning drills with his teammates.
Even so, it's possible the veteran right fielder won't begin appearing in exhibition games until the middle of next week.
"I got the impression from the way he went about it last year that he didn't feel an urgent need to jump right in and get it going," Johnson said. "He had his own schedule in mind. And with the injury, I was going to give him a couple of at-bats in the home game here [Sunday against the Astros], but I might postpone that upon further review and discussions with him."
Though he's coming back from major shoulder surgery, LaRoche at the moment is actually dealing with a minor ankle sprain suffered during a baserunning drill yesterday. Not wanting to push the veteran first baseman too fast too soon, Johnson held him out of all drills today.
That said, Johnson has been pleased with what he's seen so far this spring from LaRoche and has no overarching concerns about the state of his surgically repaired shoulder.
"He looks fine," the manager said. "And he feels good. He feels real good hitting."
Tracy, the 31-year-old corner infielder trying to make the roster off a minor-league contract, received a cortisone shot in his knee, according to Johnson. That would likely keep him sidelined for at least a couple of days.
Maya, meanwhile, has been sick for several days with flu-like symptoms and has been held out as a result.
As a general rule of thumb, Johnson doesn't like to take any chances with players dealing with these kind of nagging ailments.
"I don't get in people's chests and say: 'You've got to play today through injury or whatever,'" he said. "I've always, if they had a problem ... I want to nip it in the bud. And I also want to tell the other guys I have all the confidence in the world that they can do it. It just carries over in the spring."