Waiting to hear on Harper

A day after Bryce Harper went to Florida to get a second opinion on his swollen left knee from Dr. James Andrews, we’re still waiting on the details of Andrews’ findings.

The Nationals have been pretty quiet on the Harper front so far, choosing not to release much information to this point, but we should know more today on what lies ahead as far as treatment options on Harper’s knee and the rehabilitation process needed to get Harper back on the field.

One sign that Harper received some encouraging news from Dr. Andrews was this tweet, sent by Harper last night:

Harper hasn’t played since May 26 due to what the Nationals have said is bursitis in his left knee. Harper originally injured the knee during a collision with the wall in Dodger Stadium on May 13, and twice tried to return to the lineup only to then have the knee sideline him yet again.

The swelling and fluid buildup in the knee increased after Harper slid headfirst into third base during a game against the Phillies on May 26, forcing Harper to the disabled list. The 20-year-old is eligible to come off the DL today, but that won’t be happening.

The question now is how much longer Harper will be out, and what type of treatment he’ll need to receive in order to get the knee back to full strength.

Team medical director Dr. Wiemi Douoguih has said that one treatment option would be to have the affected bursa sac surgically removed, but general manager Mike Rizzo said on Sunday that the swelling in Harper’s knee had decreased in recent days.

The hope is that Harper will be able to avoid having the bursa sac drained or removed, the latter option manager Davey Johnson has referred to as the worst-case scenario. Rizzo said that the team has “no worry” that there is a structural issue with Harper’s knee.

The Nationals have struggled mightily from an offensive perspective this season. Johnson has not been able to field his opening day lineup since April 14 because of injuries, but the Nats hope that both Harper and catcher Wilson Ramos (left hamstring strain) will be able to return shortly and finally give the Nats a full complement of healthy position players.

Harper is hitting .287 with 12 home runs, 23 RBIs and a .973 OPS this season, but he’s been bothered by injuries since colliding with the wall in Atlanta on April 30. Since then, he’s put up a slash line of .193/.319/.368.

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