They were expecting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to be back in the lineup Tuesday in San Diego after shoulder problems sidelined him Saturday -- and would have on Sunday -- versus the Marlins. But Zimmerman still wasn't ready Tuesday, and even though the Nationals beat the Padres, 3-1, in the series opener, his situation casts a cloud over the team's third straight win. The Washington Post reported that the problem isn't inflammation, as first thought, but trouble with the AC joint. He's being sent for an MRI in San Diego. If the results aren't favorable, Zimmerman could land on the disabled list or even miss a week. That would mean the Nationals need to play without Zimmerman and they would have lost their No. 3 and No. 4 hitters -- Zimmerman and Michael Morse, out for several weeks with a lat injury. Losing the two hitters in the middle of the lineup would hurt any team. And even though the Nationals' pitching has been spectacular and a big reason they're 13-4, Zimmerman's injury would add even more pressure. They've also lost closer Drew Storen (out until close to midseason) and No. 5 starter Chien-Ming Wang (early May) with injuries. That makes the team's great start even more impressive. But if Zimmerman is out for a longer stretch, that's something which will likely hurt the Nationals at some point.
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