According to SB Nation, the severity of Washington Nationals‘ star Bryce Harper‘s knee injury was much worse than what was originally led on. The injury occurred when Harper crashed into the outfield wall against the Los Angeles Dodgers and missed a month’s worth of action.
While I hate to say I told you so, I told you so. Early last season, I wrote that Harper’s knee injury was likely more severe because the timeline of his return just didn’t match that of a usual knee bursitis injury. Harper was out over a month, and he still wasn’t the same when he returned. He actually missed more time later on in the season because of his knee. In his knee surgery after the season that was simply a clean-up procedure, Harper said the doctor found out just how big of a mess it was.
There is no cause for concern now, but there could be some down the road. The Nationals allowed their star player to play through a knee injury that he probably shouldn’t have played through. Furthermore, they did it in a season that really had no promise, despite their run in the final two months. While Mike Rizzo usually does a good job handling his injured players, he dropped the ball on Harper.
Knees are a very fickle thing, and as we found out across the beltway with the Washington Redskins, they can be devastating to a season. Even though Harper is reportedly entering Spring Training at 100-percent, the Nationals need to monitor him and his knee closely. If he needs to rest a spring training game or two simply as a protective measure, then let him do it. It’s not like his knee is in as bad a shape as Robert Griffin III‘s, but there’s really no need to have him playing every spring training game if it means his knee could get hurt.
Bryce Harper is the face of the Nationals, and Matt Williams has some big plans for the third-year player. With him entering the season at 100-percent, the Nationals stand a good chance of making 2014 just as magical as the 2012 season was. They just need to make sure that he’s truly at 100-percent at the end of Spring Training.