An MRI taken recently on Michael Morse’s strained right lat muscle revealed no significant structural damage. But that positive development hasn’t really meant all that much for the 29-year-old slugger.
According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Morse won’t be cleared to resume baseball activities “for at least a week” due to lingering discomfort on his right side.
Morse suffered the lat strain at the beginning of this month. He tried to return to Grapefruit League play last week as a designated hitter, but that experiment didn’t go as smoothly as hoped.
There’s no concern yet about Morse being unavailable for Opening Day, but that could certainly change if he’s unable to fit in enough playing time in exhibition games. He batted .303/.360/.550 with 31 home runs, 36 doubles and 95 RBI across 575 plate appearances last season for the third-place Nationals.
Adam LaRoche has also been shut down for the next several days because of ankle discomfort.
UPDATE, 12:13 PM: Ladson clarifies that Morse and LaRoche “are not expected to play in a major league exhibition game for at least a week.” So the two can presumably take part in drills and such.