Harper nursing sore back, insists he’s fine

Bryce Harper gave Nationals fans a scare when he dropped to his knees following a failed attempt at a diving catch in the top of the ninth inning this afternoon.

Manager Davey Johnson made things sound even scarier when he said that Harper has been nursing a tender back lately, and that there’s a chance the 19-year-old might need to miss tomorrow’s game at Boston as a result of the injury.

Harper brought the panic level down a few notches during his session with reporters. During that three-minute interview, Harper must’ve said, “I’m good,” at least five times. He admitted that he felt the back a bit following his dive at a David Wright bloop, (which ended up going for a triple when Harper failed to corral it,) but said he mostly just needed to recover from getting the wind knocked out of him.

“I was just trying to take a minute, but I’m good,” Harper said. “I’m totally fine to play. I won’t be out of the lineup.”

Asked when he initially hurt the back, Harper responded: “I didn’t hurt it. I’m good. Don’t worry about it. Feel great.”

Well, there you go.

Johnson said Harper has been getting treatment for the back lately, so even though the rookie outfielder says it’s nothing to be concerned about, it’s something that we’ll need to monitor over the coming days.

Harper wasn’t the only player to get banged up during today’s loss; first baseman Adam LaRoche got elbowed in the head and spiked on his foot during an awkward play at first base in the fourth inning on an Omar Quintanilla grounder up the line.

LaRoche and pitcher Chien-Ming Wang couldn’t decide who was going to take the ball, and by the time LaRoche decided to try and grab it and swipe at Quintanilla, it was too late. The ball went off LaRoche’s glove, and he got knocked into by the Mets shortstop, as well.

LaRoche said he was fine afterwards, but joked that he felt like he just played a football game.

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