Ryan Zimmerman expected to return to Nationals on Tuesday

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Matt Holliday is on the way.

Joe Mauer is just around the corner.

And there’s another big star who could be arriving back in the major leagues this week.

According to beat writer Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a double and played a full nine innings at the hot corner Saturday evening in a rehab game at Triple-A Syracuse.  He’s now 8-for-18 with four doubles and a triple since beginning his minor league rehab assignment last week.

The Nationals aren’t giving out a public timetable just yet, but Zimmerman is clearly seeing the ball well and feeling strong enough to handle defensive duties at third base, so the guess here is that he will be back in the major league lineup at some point during Washington’s upcoming three-game series in St. Louis. That three-game set starts Tuesday and ends Thursday. You get the point.

Zimmerman has been out since early April with abdominal issues. He was 10-for-28 (.357) before the injury.

UPDATE: Kilgore is now reporting that Zimmerman will be in the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday. He went 0-for-5 on Sunday in his final rehab game at Triple-A Syracuse and will use Monday as a day of rest.