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Ian Desmond went 1-for-4 with a throwing error last night.
At 11:15 a.m., Nationals manager Davey Johnson made it sound like Ian Desmond wouldn't be able to play today -- and perhaps for several days -- due to a potential oblique strain.
Thirty minutes later, after some work with the team's physical therapist, Desmond showed up in the Nationals' lineup against the Yankees after all.
"He's got a little nagging injury and, again, it's another one of those side injuries," Johnson said before announcing the lineup. "So if he's not in there, it's because he couldn't get loose."
Johnson said he first learned of the issue following last night's game. Desmond went 1-for-4 and also committed a throwing error after fielding Derek Jeter's seventh-inning grounder deep in the hole at shortstop.
Though the Nationals didn't appear to believe this injury is serious, they didn't seem to want to take any chances of it becoming a long-term concern.
"I've said this 100 times: You win with 25 players, so I'm always very concerned about anybody having a little nagging injury," Johnson said. "I'd rather nip it in the bud ... because it's such a long season and we're just in the infancy with the season. I don't want something like what happened with [Michael] Morse. We had the same thing with [Adam] LaRoche in the spring. I'm kind of gun-shy with these injuries. If I know of something and I don't let somebody else play, I'm the idiot."
If Desmond needed to miss multiple games, Johnson suggested he was likely to shift Danny Espinosa to shortstop and use Steve Lombardozzi at second base. Espinosa, a shortstop in college and through most of his minor-league career, saw a little bit of action on the left side of the infield during spring training for this very reason.
"If it's going to be maybe a couple of days, I'd rather do that than throw Lombo there," Johnson said.