Scherzer throws, declares himself 'good to go'

Nationals targeting Friday start vs. Mets if right-hander passes tests day after workout

Scherzer throws, declares himself 'good to go'

ATLANTA -- Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer threw off the mound on Tuesday and pronounced himself ready to return to the rotation.

If he suffers no ill effects from Tuesday's all-out workout at Turner Field -- and Scherzer said he does not anticipate any -- both he and the team expect the big right-hander to start as early as Friday against the Mets in New York.

"I threw all my pitches at 100 percent," Scherzer said before the Nationals' game against the Braves on Tuesday. "I'm good to go."

Scherzer is recovering from a strained right thumb he suffered while batting in his previous start, on Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Washington. Tuesday marked the first time he has thrown off a mound since then.

"I gotta see how I'm doing [Wednesday]," he said, "... but I'm ready to get back in a game."

The Nationals will stick with righty Jordan Zimmermann for Wednesday's finale against the Braves. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg breezed through his regularly scheduled throwing session on Tuesday in Atlanta, so he's ready for the opener against the Mets on Thursday.

Scherzer's next turn in the rotation actually doesn't come around until Sunday, but both he and manager Matt Williams indicated that, if he shows no symptoms Wednesday, he'll be in sometime this weekend, with Friday being the target date.

"We have the ability to slot him in wherever we'd like to," Williams said. "That being said, Stras has already thrown his bullpen in anticipation of Thursday, and you don't want to mess with that. We look to Friday, and if [Scherzer] is OK to go Friday, then that would be a day. If he needs an extra day, we can certainly do it on Saturday."

John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.