In his first nine-inning game of baseball since May 26, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper went 2-4 including a two-run triple, a walk and two scored runs in Double-A Harrisburg’s 11-6 win Thursday night. After his third quality rehab start, this one included time in the outfield, Harper is more than ready for his return the majors on Monday.
Unless for some reason, because there always is one, there is a set back. Harper has been on the disabled list since June 2 with knee bursitis. Multiple times before sticking him on the DL did the Nationals try to bring the outfielder back. After a visit with Doctor James Andrews, the team felt it best to place him on the DL and let his knee heal completely.
In three rehab games in the past four days, Harper has gone 4-for-9 and has hit for the cycle after tripling Thursday night. Harper hit a solo shot in his second rehab start for Class-A Potomac. He’s also drawn two walks, stole a base and scored two runs.
It certainly seems that Harper’s knee is no longer bothering him. The sophomore sensation has been flying around the bases and has been stretching singles into doubles and moving from first to third on mid-level singles. Simply put, Harper hasn’t lost any speed in the weeks that he’s been down and out.
Fortunately for Nationals fans, the wait is almost over for their star player. At this point, this weekend seems to be a formality with Harper resting on Saturday and then playing one more nine-inning game with Harrisburg on Sunday. By Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Bryce Harper should be inserted back into the lineup and ready to roll for the Nationals.
For those wondering, it’s unlikely that Harper will be back before Monday. History shows that the Nationals stick to their timetables when dealing with player injuries. Just ask Stephen Strasburg.