ATLANTA -- The Nationals want shortstop Trea Turner to complete a Minor League rehab assignment to test his strained right hamstring before he returns from the disabled list.
Turner, who is eligible to be activated from the 10-day DL on Wednesday, took batting practice and completed a baserunning exercise prior to Tuesday's game against the Braves. He also went through a full pregame on Sunday and said then that he felt like he would be ready to return on Wednesday.
But the Nationals are considering how important Turner's legs are to his game and want to be cautious by having him test it out in a rehab assignment.
"And we're looking for places to go of warmth where he doesn't have to necessarily be in the cold to test [his hamstring]," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.
Turner has been on the DL since April 9 when he was injured trying to steal a base against the Phillies. The Nationals also lost Turner's backup, Stephen Drew, a few days later to a hamstring injury and are down to Wilmer Difo as their everyday shortstop. Still, they do not want to rush Turner back, so Baker was not sure how many Minor League games he would have to play before he returns.
"This is the first time he's ever been hurt," Baker said. "So he doesn't know and we don't know."
One player who will return to the Nationals on Wednesday is right-hander Joe Ross, who will be promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to return to the rotation as the fifth starter. The Nationals sent Ross to the Minors to begin the season in part because they did not need a fifth starter for the first few weeks of the year and in an effort to help limit his innings.
In two starts for Syracuse, Ross allowed five runs (four earned) on 12 hits over 9 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts and three walks.
"Hopefully we don't have to do much more protecting of Joe," Baker said. "And if we do, we'll deal with that when we get there. Maybe Joe's gotten over the hump. … No, he's not over the hump yet. He still doesn't really know Joe on an overall season. But that's why we're all here to help."
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.