The Washington Nationals 20 year old superstar Bryce Harper is getting treatment on his hip. However, he did not alert manger Davey Johnson of his treatment.
For the first time on Monday Harper admitted the knee that caused him to miss 31 games was indeed a problem and that it was causing him some pain. He also, again for the first time, admitted that he was getting treatment for his hip but did not disclose if he was being treated by team doctors or someone outside the organization.
Last night in his post-game press conference in Philadelphia, manager Davey Johnson addressed the issue:
“I was a little disturbed that I wasn’t informed that he was having some treatment on his hip,” Johnson said. “But every time anybody talks to Harp, he says: ‘I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine.’ So I’m going to stick with him.”
Harper seems determined to play through the pain, and despite being questioned by Jayson Werth, first base coach Tony Tarasco and Johnson, Harper still feels that he in good enough shape to play every day.
When Harper was asked last night by the media about playing through the pain he responded:
“We’ve got a month left,” Harper said when asked about his hip. “I’m going to play as hard as I can and just worry about it at the end of the season.”
He will be in the lineup tonight as the Nationals play game two of a three game series on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. Harper has gotten hits in 12 of his last 13 games and has not seemed to have any issues playing in the outfield. The issue seems to be most pronounced when he is at the plate hitting. But his numbers – even with the knee injury – are impressive. He is hitting .278/.381/.514 with 19 home runs, and that will keep you in the lineup if you were in a wheelchair.
If by the end of the week the Nationals are out of the Wild Card race then there is no doubt that he will be rested by Johnson. As I reported last week Harper had been to Florida to seek the help of famed sports physician, Dr. James Andrews, who of course is the man who rebuilt the knee of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
I fully expect Harper to follow his friend RGIII and visit Dr. Andrews after the season to make sure that whatever issues he has with his hip and his knee can be resolved.