Last night, Bryce Harper slipped at first base trying to beat out a grounder, came off the back of the bag, and his knee bend very awkwardly. Harper does not play for a divisional opponent, but given that the team that wins the NL Central will very likely be playing the Nationals in the NLDS (to say nothing of Harper’s future standing in the 2018 free agent market), this is a really big deal.
The good news for Harper and the Nationals, though, is that Harper seems to have avoided the worse possible outcome.
It was the kind of play you watch, and you wonder how he could possibly avoid a serious injury:
Harper slipped on the bag, had to be helped off field. It's been raining the entire night: pic.twitter.com/O8HSQc0sMk
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 13, 2017
Today, though, the news sounds relatively good, all things considered:
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo: Bryce Harper has "significant bone bruise" but no ligament damage. "We feel we dodged a bullet."
— Gabe Lacques (@GabeLacques) August 13, 2017
Rizzo said no structural damage for Harper, but he has a significant bone bruise. He expects him to return this season.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) August 13, 2017
If Harper is back before the playoffs – which the Nationals should still make, with ease – the question will be about whether he has ample time to ramp back up to be his normal self. The Brewers may have caught a break, though, as they’re scheduled to host the Nationals for four games at the turn of the month from August to September.