© 2011 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

04/10/11 7:58 PM ET

Abdominal strain holds Zimmerman out of lineup

Nats star to be evaluated for same injury suffered this spring

NEW YORK -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was given the day off Sunday against the Mets because of an abdominal strain, the same injury that he had during Spring Training. He will be re-evaluated before Tuesday's game against the Phillies at Nationals Park.

Zimmerman re-injured his abdominal muscle in the third inning Saturday against New York when he singled and slid headfirst into second on the throw. Zimmerman had difficulty getting up when manager Jim Riggleman and athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came to his aid.

According to Riggleman, Zimmerman had problems with the muscle in the Nats' previous series against the Marlins.

Zimmerman doesn't have any problems swinging the bat or playing defense, according to general manager Mike Rizzo.

"We have the same concern level that we had during Spring Training," Rizzo said. "He has an abdominal strain that he has been playing with. We are going to give him two days here and see where he is at afterward.

"He is fine doing most movements -- swinging the bat, playing defense and running the bases. When he slid on the abdominal, that's what made it sore."

As of now, there isn't any talk of putting Zimmerman on the disabled list. Even Zimmerman wasn't sure if he would play.

"It feels bad enough not to play today," Zimmerman said. "It's worse than it was. It's not terrible."

In the meantime, if Zimmerman has to miss a handful of games, look for outfielder Jayson Werth to hit third, while first baseman Adam LaRoche becomes the cleanup hitter.

LaRoche strains groin in victory

NEW YORK -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche suffered a left groin strain during Sunday's 7-3 victory over the Mets on Sunday afternoon. He is listed as day-to-day. With the off-day on Monday, LaRoche is hoping to play Tuesday against the Phillies.

After hitting a single to start the 11th inning, LaRoche then suffered the injury while advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Jordan Zimmermann. LaRoche was then seen wiggling his leg before manager Jim Riggleman and assistant Michael McGowan came to his aid. LaRoche left the game soon after that.

LaRoche said he had problems with the groin on a check-swing in the fourth inning.

"I kept stretching it as the game went on and started to feel it more and more," LaRoche said. "It didn't feel great running to second."

It marks the second injury LaRoche has suffered this season. He is currently nursing a slight tear to his left rotator cuff.

"It's really frustrating. Looking back the last couple of years, I had some little things like this early," LaRoche said. "Luckily, it kind of ironed themselves out and then I felt OK the rest of the way. Hopefully that is the case."

Riggleman's thin relief corps back for finale

NEW YORK -- The Nationals had only two relievers available during Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Mets.

Reliever Brian Broderick replaced starter Tom Gorzelanny with Washington down, 5-4. The move to bring in Broderick was surprising, because manager Jim Riggleman said that the young reliever would not be in tight games during the foreseeable future.

The truth was Riggleman didn't have a choice but to use Broderick because the skipper was trying to rest five members of his bullpen. Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Chad Gaudin and Todd Coffey worked often in games, while Sean Burnett had a bad case of the flu.

But the Mets continued their rally as Ike Davis scored on a single by Daniel Murphy to make it a two-run game.

In the eighth inning, the Mets added to their lead. Jose Reyes drove in two runs with a double off left-hander Doug Slaten. The two runs were charged to Broderick.

The five pitchers who didn't see action on Saturday were available for Sunday's game against the Mets.

Four out of the five relievers -- Gaudin, Clippard, Storen and Burnett -- entered the game and pitched a combined five shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a 7-3 victory over the Mets.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.