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Fister completes bullpen session, eyes sim game

MIAMI -- Nationals right-hander Doug Fister took the next step in his rehabilitation process Monday afternoon at Marlins Park.

Fister, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain, threw 50 pitches -- including his entire repertoire -- during a two-inning bullpen session.

"I'm definitely antsy, but at the same time I know I need to do this the right way and not rush it," Fister said. "It's another step in the right direction where I want to be in this situation. Feeling pretty good and keep taking steps in the right direction of getting stronger, more in shape and getting back out there."

Manager Matt Williams said the club will continue to proceed with Fister like it would in Spring Training. The 30-year-old pitched just 5 2/3 innings during Grapefruit League play between inflammation in his right elbow and the lat strain.

The next step will be a simulation game to face hitters, but no date has been set. It depends on how he feels on Tuesday following Monday's session. After that, Fister will likely compete in rehab games. Fister believes the timetable for his return remains late April to early May.

"How close is he?" Williams said. "He's as close as feeling good every time he goes out there, and that natural progression will take care of itself."

Christina DeNicola is a contributor to Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill.
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