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04/08/12 2:27 PM ET

Count Strasburg among Johan's admirers

CHICAGO -- On Wednesday afternoon, there is expected to be a pitchers' duel between Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg and Mets left-hander Johan Santana.

Strasburg said he admired Santana from afar while growing up in San Diego, and wants to have similar success that Santana has had over the years. Santana has won two Cy Young Awards and three ERA titles.

"I watched him growing up, especially with the Twins," Strasburg said. "He is from the left side. He does a lot of stuff I want to do when it comes to attacking hitters, trusting your fastball, working down in the zone. Obviously, we have a little different body type and stuff."

Strasburg also admires Santana's work ethic and the way he was able to come back from a torn left anterior capsule in his shoulder, the same injury that sidelined Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang. It took Santana a little over a year to recover from the injury.

"I'm impressed with the way he came back from the injuries and everything," Strasburg said. "To come back is amazing. You can only respect the guy more and appreciate what he does."

Morse returns to action on rehab assigment

CHICAGO -- A day after getting treatment for his strained right lat (back) muscle in New York, Nationals outfielder Michael Morse was back in the lineup for Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday.

Morse is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, but it's not known if he will play for the big-league club that same day against the Mets.

Morse doesn't have any problems swinging the bat, but has discomfort throwing the baseball.

"That remains to be seen," manager Davey Johnson said about Morse's return date. "It's on a day-by-day basis. I'm not going to comment on when I think [Morse] will be ready. [He's] had some success swinging the bat."

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.