Slugger Morse might rejoin Nationals this weekend

The injury-plagued Washington Nationals had some good news on the medical front for a change Wednesday — outfielder Michael Morse might be back this weekend.

Morse's sore back is feeling better, accelerating the timetable for his return, manager Davey Johnson said. Morse, who hit .303 with 31 homers last year, has yet to play for the Nationals this season and has been on a rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Potomac.

He was expected to play in the field Thursday for Potomac and might be in Washington on Friday for the start of a homestand.

"His timing is a little off, but other than that he feels fit and ready to go," Johnson said. "Why waste the at-bats in Potomac?"

Johnson said he'll likely put Morse right back into the lineup rather than have him pinch-hit.

"I'll throw him out there," Johnson said. "If he's able to go, he might connect."

Morse is one of 11 Nationals on the disabled list. Washington is in first place in the NL East but has sputtered offensively. They totaled four runs this week in the first two games of their series at Miami, both losses.