MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Zimmerman not rushing return to game action

Nats first baseman being cautious with recovery from plantar fasciitis

Zimmerman not rushing return to game action

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman hopes he is able to play in an exhibition game within the next 10 days. The team is simply taking it slowly with Zimmerman, who missed more than a month last year because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Zimmerman, who insisted that the foot is fine, took batting and fielding practice Thursday at Space Coast Stadium. But he is taking it slowly running the bases. Besides, Zimmerman feels he needs 40-50 at-bats in order to get ready for the regular season.

"We're just being slow with it. My foot feels fine," Zimmerman said. "There's no reason to start playing games this early in March when we plan on playing games in September and October. I know what I need to get ready and there's no reason to play 25 games down here. That's just not intelligent."

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Besides taking batting and fielding practice, Zimmerman spends time doing soft-tissue exercises.

"You don't necessarily treat the area that is hurting," Zimmerman said. "You treat the calf and other things around it. Something has to cause this to happen. So we try to identify what is tight, whether it's this leg or the other leg."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.