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Nats activate Madson from DL, option Gott

MLB.com @JamalCollier

ATLANTA -- Ryan Madson admitted he felt a little nervous when the discomfort in his chest that ultimately landed him on the disabled list did not subside right away. But after the first week, he improved quickly enough to be activated from the disabled list Thursday, ahead of the Nationals' four-game weekend series with the Braves.

Madson returns after missing 12 games with a strained pectoral muscle, and he puts the Nationals' backend bullpen trio back at full strength. Trevor Gott was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room on the active roster. Although he did not make a Minor League rehab appearance, Madson threw two bullpen sessions before he was ready to return.

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ATLANTA -- Ryan Madson admitted he felt a little nervous when the discomfort in his chest that ultimately landed him on the disabled list did not subside right away. But after the first week, he improved quickly enough to be activated from the disabled list Thursday, ahead of the Nationals' four-game weekend series with the Braves.

Madson returns after missing 12 games with a strained pectoral muscle, and he puts the Nationals' backend bullpen trio back at full strength. Trevor Gott was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room on the active roster. Although he did not make a Minor League rehab appearance, Madson threw two bullpen sessions before he was ready to return.

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"The second one was their idea," Madson said with a laugh. "I told them I was ready after the first one."

Madson did not believe his injury developed from overuse, but thought it was sort of a freak incident stemming from increased velocity in his most recent outings. The 37-year-old had made 21 appearances before he landed on the DL, putting him on pace for career highs in games, something the Nats wanted to avoid.

His heavy workload stems from the fact that he is one of Washington's most reliable and effective relievers. In the 10 games before landing on the DL, Madson allowed just one run in nine innings, with nine strikeouts and one walk, while limiting opposing batters to a .156 average and no extra-base hits.

Still, manager Dave Martinez said he will be sure to increase his communication with Madson and be more careful about monitoring his workload going forward.

"For me, it's just having conversations with him every day," Martinez said. "We have to be real careful. Here's a guy that wants to pitch. Every time he's available he wants to go out there, but I have to be a little bit smarter with him, and tell him, 'Hey, I know you feel like you're available, but let's give you that extra day and really be good to go the next day.'"

Goodwin, Grace could return this weekend
Earlier Thursday morning, Martinez picked up the phone to call Double-A Harrisburg manager Matthew LeCroy for updates on the three Nats players on rehab assignments -- Daniel Murphy (knee), Brian Goodwin (wrist) and Matt Grace (groin).

And Martinez received some good news.

Goodwin seems on track to be activated from the DL at some point during this weekend's series in Atlanta. He has played in four Minor League rehab games and will play nine innings in at least one more. Grace could be right behind him after throwing an inning the previous day. Grace will take the next two days off before his next appearance, which could come with Washington.

Murphy's rehab assignment will last a little longer, but Martinez seemed happy with the progress he has made so far.

"[LeCroy] said they're doing fine," Martinez said. "They're playing well."

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Trevor Gott, Ryan Madson