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Werth preparing for return to Nationals' lineup

OF considering rehab assignment; Baker targeting first game after All-Star break
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said he's "close" to resuming baseball activities as he recovers from a left foot contusion that put him on the 10-day disabled list June 5.

Werth, who recently stopped wearing a walking boot, is considering going to Florida for a rehab assignment. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he'd be happy if Werth returned to the Nats' lineup when the team comes back from the All-Star break on July 14.

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WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said he's "close" to resuming baseball activities as he recovers from a left foot contusion that put him on the 10-day disabled list June 5.

Werth, who recently stopped wearing a walking boot, is considering going to Florida for a rehab assignment. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he'd be happy if Werth returned to the Nats' lineup when the team comes back from the All-Star break on July 14.

View Full Game Coverage

"When it's ready, I'll be ready to go play," Werth said. "It's just a matter of getting my legs in shape. It's nice having a nice team and having a nice lead and all that, but I want to be on the field.

"You hate to put a date on it or a timeline on it, but we're getting close to getting on the field, getting to running, that whole thing."

Video: WSH@OAK: Werth belts a solo homer to left field

The Nationals placed Werth on the 10-day DL after he fouled a ball off his foot against the Athletics on June 3. However, Werth said he knew after receiving an MRI it would likely take him four to six weeks to recover. The outfielder is taking some swings every day and is swimming to stay in shape.

Werth was slashing .262/.367/.446 at the time of the injury while mainly batting in the two-hole.

Without the 15-year-veteran, the Nationals had a nine-game lead in the National League East, heading into Monday night's opener against the Cubs, and lead the NL in almost every offensive category as bench players have taken advantage of their opportunities. Brian Goodwin has hit .299/.377/.657 with six home runs this month as the usual two-hole batter. Ryan Raburn, who was called up in place of Werth, is batting .324 in June.

Worth noting

Baker said Sammy Solis is "very close" to returning from left elbow inflammation that put him on the DL April 19, but the toughest decision is deciding who he would replace.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Washington Nationals, Jayson Werth