Bryce Harper not expected to play before Friday

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Bryce Harper is out of the Nationals’ lineup tonight for the second straight game with a knee injury and Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he’s not expected to play again before Friday at the earliest.

That suggests the knee must be really bothering Harper, because there had been some talk of him serving as the Nationals’ designated hitter during a brief series in Baltimore. Apparently he doesn’t feel good enough to hit, let alone play right field.

Harper initially hurt his knee slamming into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium two weeks ago and then aggravated it on the bases. He’s been diagnosed with bursitis.