Sunday, April 10, 2011, 12:30 p.m.
Updated at 5:41 p.m.
By Mark Zuckerman
NEW YORK -- Ryan Zimmerman was held out of the Nationals' lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Mets after aggravating a prior abdominal strain sliding into second base the previous night.
The Nationals are hopeful two days of rest and treatment will be enough to allow Zimmerman to return, though they won't know about his availability for this week's homestand until Tuesday.
This is the same injury that sidelined Zimmerman for three games early in spring training -- he also missed time late in camp with a separate groin strain -- and the third baseman has been experiencing some discomfort since Opening Day.
"When I slid into second last night, I hurt it a little more," Zimmerman said. "It's one of those things where we'll see how it feels. ... It feels bad enough not to play today. So worse than it was during spring training, but it's not terrible. So we'll see."
Asked what his concern level is about the severity of the injury, general manager Mike Rizzo said: "About the same concern level we've had since Opening Day, through spring training. He's got an ab strain and he's been playing with it. So we're going to give him two days here and see where he's at afterward."
Zimmerman aggravated the injury in the third inning of Saturday night's 8-4 loss to New York, when he singled to center and then advanced to second base as the ball was thrown toward third. Though there was no play on him, he slide headfirst into the base and appeared to be in some pain as he got up.
Zimmerman remained in the game, though, and singled in his next at-bat.
The Nationals will have to decide whether returning to play Tuesday could aggravate the strain further and whether he'll need more rest.
"If playing risks making it get worse, then yes, rest is the prudent course," Rizzo said. "But so far, he's fine doing most movements. Swinging the bat, playing defense and running the bases, it's fine. It's certain movements, certain angles of throws and obviously when he slid right on it, that made it sore."
Veteran Alex Cora filled in at third base for Sunday's series finale at Citi Field.
First baseman Adam LaRoche, meanwhile, had to come out of Sunday's game in the 11th inning after aggravating a groin strain he first noticed earlier in the day while swinging.
LaRoche, who has been playing all season with a slight tear in his left shoulder, was removed for a pinch-runner but said he's hopeful he'll be able to play Tuesday.
Mark Zuckerman also blogs about the Nationals at natsinsider.com. Contact him at email@example.com and on Twitter @MarkZuckerman.