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Right knee remains issue for Taylor

WASHINGTON -- Michael Taylor was left out of Matt Williams' starting lineup on Thursday, the second straight start the Nationals' rookie outfielder has missed since reaggravating his injured right knee.

Taylor crashed into the center-field wall last Thursday against San Diego, and his right leg received the majority of the blow. Tests revealed no structural damage, and he returned on Saturday. He played the next three games, but injured the same knee when he fell to the ground after making a throw on Tuesday.

"It swelled again," Williams said before the opener against Atlanta. "So, we'll monitor and make sure we're getting it out there. One issue for him is stopping. So, he's OK to run, but if he has to stop, that's when he gets into trouble."

Williams said Taylor was available off the bench, but that he would likely be pinch-run for to avoid any further issues.

Taylor has played a large role for the Nationals this season with extended absences from fellow outfielders Denard Span and Jayson Werth. The 24-year-old is batting .238 with 13 home runs and 15 stolen bases.

Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for
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