Apr 12, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) reacts to being picked off in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Zimmerman Fractures Thumb, Out 4-6 Weeks

As if losing two games in a row to the Braves wasn’t enough, the Nationals sustained another crushing injury Saturday night during a game that proved costly in more ways than one. This time, it is third baseman Ryan Zimmerman who is heading to the disabled list, where he will likely stay for at least the next month.

Zimmerman fractured his right thumb after being picked off by Braves left-hander Alex Wood in the top of the fifth inning. The third baseman was slow to get up from the head-first slide and was replaced at third by Anthony Rendon in the top of the sixth.

Zimmerman’s injury adds to a growing list of injury concerns for the Nationals as he joins Wilson Ramos, Doug Fister and Denard Span on the disabled list. Span was placed on the seven-day disabled list this morning with a concussion, a worrisome injury for a player who had serious concussion issues as a member of the Minnesota Twins just a few years ago.

With Zimmerman out of commission for the forseable future, the Nationals will likely man an infield of Adam LaRoche, Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond and Rendon until Zimmerman makes his way back into the lineup. The Nationals will likely call up Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse to take Zimmerman’s roster spot as he was taken out of the Chiefs’ game after Zimmerman sustained the injury Saturday night.

Only time will tell how quickly Zimmerman will be able to recover from the injury. One thing’s for certain, the third baseman is an integral part of this lineup and a much-needed bat in the middle of the order. If the Nationals want to accomplish their lofty goals, they’ll need a healthy Zimmerman back in the lineup as soon as possible. Unfortunately for the Nationals, it looks like they’ll have to do without him, at least for now. Needless to say, the next four to six weeks will be a crucial challenge for manager Matt Williams and the Nationals.

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