Bryce Harper’s aggressive style of play (as evidenced by this head-first slide against the San Diego Padres) has made it hard to nurse his ailing knee injury. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said on Sunday that left fielder Bryce Harper will “probably be down a few days” after re-aggravating his sore knee in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Phillies. After originally injuring the knee when he crashed into the right field wall on May 14 in Los Angeles, Harper found himself dealing with pain in the knee today after sliding on three separate occasions.
The Nationals now find themselves with yet another potentially lingering injury, as Harper acknowledged that he’ll be dealing with the issue for the remainder of the season. “I could rest it for four days and feel better and I could go out there and slide and bang it up again — and back to square one,” said Harper. While the Nationals certainly have outfield depth in the form of Tyler Moore, Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernadina and Eury Perez, none could replicate the production of Harper, who has hit /286 12 home runs and 23 RBIs this season.
If the injuries continue to be an issue for the Nationals, perhaps Mike Rizzo looks to swing a deal for an additional utility man to add to Steve Lombardozzi. Lombo has been quite an asset coming off the bench since the start of last season, so giving Davey Johnson another flex player to fill in for injured starters could help to retain Lombardozzi as a bench threat.