Ryan Zimmerman is nearing recovery from his hamstring injury just in time for the Washington Nationals‘ foray into October baseball. 

The Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore provided an encouraging update on the 29-year-old third baseman’s rehab:

As Comcast SportsNet’s Mark Zuckerman added, he was looking good during batting practice, as well:

The Nationals provided a picture of Zimmerman in the cage: 

Zimmerman, who has been sidelined since late July with the injury, is hitting .282/.345/.456 in 53 games this season. His OPS (.802) is the second-lowest it has been in the last six seasons, but as you may remember, after missing a chunk of April and all of May with a broken thumb, he was beginning to rake in July, hitting .362/.418/.569. 

If he is able to get healthy and back into that kind of rhythm in time for the postseason, it will be a major boost to the Nats, who have the best record in the National League at 81-61 and have been playing .639 baseball (23-13) since the start of August.

Manager Matt Williams recently talked about Zimmerman’s potential role upon his return, via Kilgore:

He’s certainly got the ability to play three positions for us. He can play third. He can play left. He can play first, depending on where the need is. That being said, I want to make sure we’re not throwing him in there every day, to make sure that he’s good to go. I would imagine he’ll play all three of those, on any given day. There’s no real set plan where he’s going to play third every day or he’s going to play left every day, or he’s going to play first every day. He’s probably going to play all of them.

Washington is seventh in the majors in slugging percentage over the second half of the season, and if Williams can slot Zimmerman back into the middle of the lineup, it’ll be a scary thought for the rest of the NL. 

Clearly already a World Series contender without him, the Nationals’ postseason outlook continues to get brighter as Zimmerman’s hammy improves. 

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