The Nationals placed Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning, recalling infield prospect Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse to replace the former All-Star on the roster.
Zimmerman got hurt diving back to the bag as he was picked off second base in the fifth inning Saturday night. He stayed on the ground for a minute before finally leaving the field.
"It is what it is. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us," manager Matt Williams said. "You've got to play."
Following Zimmerman's exit, Anthony Rendon moved from second base to third and Danny Espinosa entered the game at second base.
"It's not our first choice, certainly, but the fact they can play multiple positions is good in times like this," Williams said.
Before the game, the Nationals placed center fielder Denard Span on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion. Right fielder Jayson Werth was held out after leaving Friday night's game with cramping in his groin. Werth had a pinch-hit single.
Washington's makeshift outfield included Bryce Harper in center, Kevin Frandsen in left and Nate McLouth in right.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Braves Double Up Nationals
Baseball Tonight Spotlight: Ryan Zimmerman broke his right thumb getting picked off at second and will be out four to six weeks as the Nationals fell to the Braves 6-3.