MIAMI — Jayson Werth hopes to return to the Nationals' lineup Tuesday after departing Monday night's game with a sprained right ankle, though the veteran right fielder doesn't expect to know the true severity of the injury until morning.
"I won't know until I wake up tomorrow," Werth said following Monday's 7-6 loss to the Marlins. "It'll probably be a little sore. I think I'm going to try to play. I expect to play. I also expect that it could be sore."
Werth injured himself on an awkward slide at second base trying to stretch a base hit to right leading off the seventh inning. Easily thrown out by Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, Werth tried to elude Adeiny Hechavarria's tag but wound up twisting his right ankle in the process.
He remained hunched over for a few seconds, then walked gingerly off the field and back to the Nationals dugout, where he conferred with head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz and manager Matt Williams. With the Nats leading 6-0 at that point, all sides agreed not to risk things, so Werth left the game.
"I just wasn't sure," Werth said. "Ankles are kinda funny. You can feel OK, and once they start swelling up they can be pretty bad. In that situation there, situation of the game and situation of the season, I think Matt didn't want to take a chance. Get some ice on it, keep the swelling down and see where we're at in the morning."
Williams was fairly confident his No. 3 hitter didn't seriously injure himself on the play.
"He's OK," the manager said. "He tried to avoid the tag and twisted his ankle a little bit. I anticipate he should be good tomorrow, but we'll see how he is when he shows up."
The Nationals already are playing without Ryan Zimmerman, who landed on the disabled list last week with a bad hamstring strain. Werth is one of only three members of the Opening Day lineup who hasn't spent any time on the DL this season, along with Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon.