Bryce Harper missed all of June with bursitis in his left knee and required treatment for the joint earlier this week. Now the situation has worsened further.
According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, Harper is not in the Nationals’ starting lineup for Game 2 of Friday’s day-night doubleheader with the Mets because he aggravated his left knee while diving for a ball in the outfield in Game 1. It wasn’t a serious aggravation, but it’s worrisome nonetheless for a Washington team that carries a disappointing 49-54 record into the nightcap at Nationals Park.
Steve Lombardozzi will start in left field and bat seventh.
Harper is hitting .271/.373/.520 with 14 home runs and 31 RBI in 65 games this season. The 20-year-old phenom slugged a walkoff home run in the Nats’ 9-7 win over the Pirates on Thursday afternoon.
As expected the Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list after the 20-year-old outfielder missed the past 31 games with a knee injury stemming from his May 13 collision with the wall at Dodger Stadium.
Harper went 4-for-11 with a homer and three total extra-base hits during a brief minor-league rehab assignment, which concluded Saturday.
Before being shut down he hit .287 with 12 homers and a .973 OPS in 44 games, although Harper hit just .226 between the Dodger Stadium collision and being placed on the disabled list. He’ll resume starting in left field for the Nationals, with Jayson Werth in right field. Washington went 15-16 during Harper’s absence while giving his playing time to a combination of Tyler Moore, Stephen Lombardozzi, and most recently Roger Bernadina.
Ryan Zimmerman will begin a brief minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.
Barring a setback with his hamstring injury Zimmerman is expected to play two games at Single-A, take a day off, and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the Nationals’ lineup Friday.
Zimmerman hit .226 with one homer and a .670 OPS in 15 games before straining his hamstring on April 17. Initially the Nationals turned to rookie call-up Anthony Rendon as his replacement at third base, but lately manager Davey Johnson has also been using Stephen Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy.
Rendon figures to head back to the minors once Zimmerman is healthy.