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Werth, Heisey progressing; Kelley stalled

Left fielder may play rehab games in Gulf Coast League
MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have sent left fielder Jayson Werth to West Palm Beach, Fla., to begin working out in preparation for a rehab assignment as he works his way back from a left foot contusion.

Initially, the Nationals believed Werth was not eligible to play in the Gulf Coast League, considering no active player on a Gulf Coast League roster can have more than three years of prior Minor League service. However, that does not apply to Minors rehab assignments.

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have sent left fielder Jayson Werth to West Palm Beach, Fla., to begin working out in preparation for a rehab assignment as he works his way back from a left foot contusion.

Initially, the Nationals believed Werth was not eligible to play in the Gulf Coast League, considering no active player on a Gulf Coast League roster can have more than three years of prior Minor League service. However, that does not apply to Minors rehab assignments.

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So should the Nationals choose, Werth could play in the Gulf Coast League for the first time since 1997.

Either way, Werth is making progress as he targets a return sometime shortly post-All-Star break. And the team will eventually send him to begin his rehab assignment elsewhere.

"He'll just continue to work until he's able to go play," manager Dusty Baker said.

Heisey still working at AAA
Nationals outfielder Chris Heisey has played three games during a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Syracuse, but his return from a right biceps rupture does not seem imminent. Heisey experienced a setback that caused him to get pulled off his previous rehab assignment, and the Nationals are likely to be extra careful with him this time around.

Kelley shutdown
Right-hander Shawn Kelley has had a setback and has been shut down from his throwing program. He is on the disabled list for a right trapezius strain, but told the Washington Post that during one long-toss session, he experienced pain in his neck and upper back area that has not subsided.

Baker could not confirm the report, saying that he has not spoken to Kelley or the trainers about the reliever's condition, but Kelley has been on the disabled list since June 18 and had not made much progress. 

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Jayson Werth