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X-rays negative on Harper’s ankle

Jul 21, 2012, 9:05 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Bryce Harper reacts to fouling a bunt off his left ankle.

Updated at 5:05 p.m.

Bryce Harper was forced out of the first game of today’s doubleheader after fouling a ball off his left ankle, but the Nationals appeared to dodge a bullet upon learning the rookie outfielder suffered only a bruise, not a fracture of any type.

Harper was attempting to bunt in the bottom of the first inning when he fouled Braves right-hander Ben Sheets’ pitch off the top of his back foot, near the ankle joint. The 19-year-old hobbled around for several minutes while assistant trainer Mike McGowan and manager Davey Johnson tended to him, but convinced the duo to let him return to the batter’s box and complete the at-bat.

Harper wound up striking out on Sheets’ next pitch, then limped his way out to center field for the top of the second inning. He attempted to take some swings in the batting cage underneath the first-base stands but was unable to put any weight on the foot.

“He was down hitting and trying to swing with it,” Johnson said. “They said he can’t even swing. He’s trying like heck, and he can’t even swing, can’t land on it. So that’s why I took him out.”
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  1. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    It ticked off the bat right onto his arch, the top of his foot, off the laces. Very small bones in there. I don't like the looks of this at all.

  2. Drew - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Paging Corey Brown…

  3. mick - Jul 21, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    it would just figure….

  4. Secret wasian man - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    No big loss.

  5. peric - Jul 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    With Komatsu out with a surgery, Werth with surgery, Ankiel, Xavier Paul, and now Nady DFA'ed. Outfield depth could become an issue going into September.

  6. NatsLady - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Shame. With any offense at all Edwin could have gone eight with Mattheus for the ninth. Might have even gone CG although I think his pitch count was over 100 after seven. Can't put this one on Davey or the bullpen.It's raining here, sort of misting. Leaving for the game at about 5:30. Don't have hope for Lannan pitching beyond 6 or 7 but the Barves are in the same position, so we might just have a slop-fest.

  7. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    My first thought he was pulling up to bunt was "What the hell are you doing?" Sheets has no power just clobber the ball. Little did I know he would bunt it off his foot.I was not pleased with even thought of bunt, very unpleased now with the result.

  8. natsfan1a - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Good news if it's indeed bruised only.

  9. baseballswami - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    He's a tough kid. If he can move at all he will play. He hasn't had a game off yet. Part of a game in Toronto, but not a full game. Maybe watching from the bench will give him some perspective on hitting and get him back on track.

  10. SonnyG10 - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    ditto, 1a

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    I bruised the top of the foot in the same spot before. Hurst a couple days, and you can probably pinch hit tonight, and be back in action by Monday.

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