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Ryan Zimmerman has severe hamstring strain

Justin Edmonds

The Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman may miss a significant part of the rest of the season with a grade three hamstring injury.

A grade three strain is an indicator that more than half of the muscle has been torn, and it is not uncommon (though not always necessary) for surgery to be required to repair the tissue.

Zimmerman has played in just 53 games this season, his lowest number since 2011 when he played in just 101. He averaged 146 games the past two seasons, and was hitting .282/.345/.456 on the year with a wRC+ of 124.

The nature of the injury will require several weeks of rest, followed by a period of rehabilitation. With just eight weeks left in the regular season, it is likely that Zimmerman will be back prior to the end of the year, but how much time he will see before the post-season is up in the air.

In the interim, Washington is on the lookout for a second or third baseman to fill the gap. Indeed, they have been in the market for awhile now, with Anthony Rendon set to fill whichever position is left vacant following the trade deadline.

The Nationals have suffered from injuries all season long. Bryce Harper has played in just 45 games, the same number of games played as Wilson Ramos. In fact, despite playing just 53 games, Zimmerman is seventh on the team in plate appearances.

Despite their struggles to stay healthy, the Nationals hold a half-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, and barring a full collapse should return to the post-season for the second time in the past three years.