The Washington Nationals appear to have dodged a bullet after MVP candidate Bryce Harper on Saturday night and looked like he may have suffered a gruesome looking injury.
General manager Mike Rizzo told reporters that Harper only sustained a “significant bone bruise” and that Harper’s knee ligaments and tendons were intact and structurally sound following an MRI on Sunday morning.
“We were all holding our breath last night a little bit and hoping for the best,” Rizzo said. “Got a glimmer of hope last night when he was able to walk up the stairs from the dugout to the clubhouse and put some weight on it. Had some optimism.”
Rizzo said Harper could return as soon as mid-September. “We feel we dodged a bullet,” Rizzo continued. “We’re optimistic we’ll see him this season.”
You could see Harper’s knee buckling in the video as he crossed first base while aggressively running out a ground ball shortly after a 3 hour rain delay.
“There is no ligament or tendon damage, which is pretty remarkable in my mind, seeing the type of injury he had,” Rizzo said.”
Harper, 24, is batting .326/.419/.645 for the first place Washington Nationals this season, with 27 doubles, 29 home runs and 87 RBIs.
The Nationals activated outfielder Michael Taylor (oblique strain) this morning and he is available for Sunday’s doubleheader with the San Francisco Giants.
It will be interesting to see if the Nats intend to ride out the next 4-6 weeks without their superstar right fielder, or if they intend to reach out to teams like the Mets who happen to have Curtis Granderson ready, willing and available. Granderson could certainly help fill some of the power void left in the wake of Harper’s injury. Stay tuned.