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Kelley could return this weekend

Club being cautious with reliever
MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Shawn Kelley feels like he could be ready to return from the disabled list when he is eligible on Friday. The ulnar nerve irritation in his right elbow has calmed down and Kelley has thrown two bullpen sessions -- this past Sunday and Tuesday.

The Nationals have not made a decision on whether Kelley will be activated Friday, but manager Dave Martinez will meet with general manager Mike Rizzo and head athletic trainer Paul Lessard before making that decision.

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WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Shawn Kelley feels like he could be ready to return from the disabled list when he is eligible on Friday. The ulnar nerve irritation in his right elbow has calmed down and Kelley has thrown two bullpen sessions -- this past Sunday and Tuesday.

The Nationals have not made a decision on whether Kelley will be activated Friday, but manager Dave Martinez will meet with general manager Mike Rizzo and head athletic trainer Paul Lessard before making that decision.

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Kelley threw four pitches without recording an out on April 23 in San Francisco before the discomfort in his elbow forced him to leave the game. Considering he has undergone Tommy John surgery twice in his career and is pitching through bone chips in his elbow, Kelley was relieved when his arm felt much better the next day.

Because Kelly has been able to continue throwing since landing on the DL, he does not think he needs a Minor League rehab assignment and could be ready to pitch Friday against the Phillies. Kelley has made eight appearances this season, surrendering three runs over six innings, but also struck out nine.

Although he feels he is ready, the Nationals normally treat Kelley with caution because of his injury history. So, Martinez was unsure whether they wanted to activate him so quickly after his injury.

"We want him to be ready for the long haul," Martinez said.

Worth noting
Anthony Rendon will begin a Minor League rehab assignment Thursday night with Class A Advanced Potomac, where he will serve as the designated hitter. He is on track to return at some point this weekend as long as the team is comfortable with his performance during rehab games.

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

Washington Nationals, Shawn Kelley