Ryan Zimmerman ready to return

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman says his sore shoulder has healed, and he expects to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday.

Zimmerman was put on the DL by Washington on April 28, retroactive to April 21, with right shoulder inflammation. He tested the shoulder Saturday by hitting off a tee and swinging at soft tosses.

"Felt real good. It was pretty much 100 percent," Zimmerman said. "We'll do soft toss again (Sunday) and plan to hit (batting practice). Do another BP on Monday. If everything goes good, I'll be ready to go Tuesday."

He's eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, but Zimmerman intends to wait because Washington has an off-day Monday.

"Unless I come out (Sunday) and feel just unbelievable and feel absolutely nothing, then there would be a chance," he said. "But it would be kind of silly to rush. If we have Monday off then I keep hitting Monday, I get another day of rest and then Tuesday be ready to go. ... It would be a shame if we didn't wait the extra day and messed it up."

Zimmerman is batting .224 with one homer and seven RBIs in 15 games this season. Last year he hit .289 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs.

When he returns, Zimmerman intends to play third base without considering the possibility of re-injuring his shoulder.

"Not unless you want me to stop diving," he said. "These things are just things that happen. You play enough games, you're going to get hurt. Unfortunately, I had to miss some games. Sometimes you can play through it, sometimes you can't. It is better this way. It's frustrating, but it was better to do it this way."

When Zimmerman went on the disabled list, the Nationals called up 19-year-old Bryce Harper. The rookie was batting .316 with four doubles in six games through Friday.