JUPITER, Fla. -- One day isn't going to completely erase all the missed time, but for Dallas McPherson, just being back in the Grapefruit League lineup was a plus.

A left groin pull kept him out of the Marlins lineup since March 8. The left-handed-hitting third baseman started and got three plate appearances in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Nationals.

He drew a walk, and tested his leg by sprinting from first to home on Josh Willingham's double in the fourth inning.

"I feel good. It was good to be back out there, and be healthy, hopefully for the rest of Spring Training," said McPherson, formerly a highly touted prospect with the Angels.

The plan is to get him back on the field on Monday and see how he responds.

Because McPherson has missed so much time, and he has 17 total at-bats in six games, it may be a long shot for him to make the team.

McPherson came into Spring Training vying for the third-base job. After Jose Castillo was claimed off waivers on Saturday by the Giants, Jorge Cantu has pretty much locked up a roster spot.

McPherson still could factor into the mix as a left-handed-hitting infield option. He also could see some spot work at first base.

Cantu, meanwhile, started Sunday at first base, and he made a nice dig on a low throw by McPherson to get Lastings Milledge in the first inning.

McPherson handled a couple of grounders before he was replaced in the middle innings.

"Those were my first ground balls, and I was a little nervous on them," he said. "Jorge picked me up. It was good to get a couple of ground balls out of the way."

With one week left in Spring Training, McPherson understands he can't force things.

"I can't try to do anything special, it is what it is," he said. "I missed a lot of playing time. They are going to have a decision to make. I have to go out and stay as healthy as I can, and get my work in, and whatever the decision made, it's in their hands."

The Marlins have an option on McPherson, meaning he could be sent to Triple-A if he doesn't break camp with the team.