Ryan Zimmerman not near return from abdominal strain

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Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was cleared to resume performing baseball activities earlier this week and he is doing some light drills. But it’s going to be a long time before we see him back in a major league uniform.

Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington watched Zimmerman play a light game of catch on Thursday afternoon and came away thinking that the 26-year-old “won’t be back for awhile.”

Zimmerman is suffering from a strained muscle in his abdomen and hasn’t played since April 9. He still isn’t taking live batting practice and will probably need a week of minor league at-bats before the Nationals deem him ready to return.

Zimmerman posted a .357/.486/.536 with one home run and four RBI through the Nats’ first eight games.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.