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Harper ramping up to baseball activities

Jun 19, 2013, 10:34 PM EST

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Having passed various strength tests in his rehab from a left knee injury, Bryce Harper is almost ready to begin baseball activities, one of the final steps in his return from the disabled list.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Harper should be cleared to hit, field and run the bases "in a couple of days," having already proven his knee can handle walking, jogging and running tests. The swelling that was treated nine days ago by a cortisone shot and platelet-rich plasma injection has gone down and has not returning despite the increased activity.

"It's been good progress," Rizzo said. "That allows us to ramp it up. Now he'll go from activities to baseball activities, and we'll build from that."

Rizzo won't put a firm timetable on Harper's ultimate return to the lineup, though club officials have believed all along it could happen quickly once the 20-year-old outfielder was able to resume baseball activities. He is expected to go on a brief minor-league rehabRead more »

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Time to slide on your a$$ as Davey Johnson said.

  2. David Proctor - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Looks like he's on track to return early next week like I thought.

  3. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    I have ticket Wednesday's game vs. Az.

  4. MicheleS - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    I have Tues/Wed vs AZ and then Going to NY for Fri/Sat soo hopefully get to see him.

  5. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    I will believe it when I see it.

  6. Theophilus T. S. - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Gonzalez's seven-inning 127-pitch start wasn't nearly as good as it looked; wore himself out leaving runners all over the bases (4BB) and after giving up only one run not in condition to go into the eighth. No command; no sign that he considers it a priority. More of the same tonight, apparently. Likely still feeling the effects of the last start.

  7. slidell2 - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Harper's return will be none too soon. It's incredible how most nights we're scrapping for every run, counting the hits on the fingers of one hand. Maybe Bryce can jack things up a bit.

  8. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    He will definitely be back by the All Star break.

  9. karlkolchak - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Theophilus – This is who Gio is. His BB/9 rate of 4.1 this year is identical to what it was his last two years in Oakland, when he first became a front line pitcher. It dipped to 3.4 last year, which is why he was so dominant. Also, if you look at his K/9 and ERA stats from those last two Oakland years, they are also very similar to this year. Only his Wins are down because he's getting little run support.Gio's a very good starter–a legit No. 2 on a good team, an ace on a bad one. We should appreciate him for what he is, especially since he is on a very team friendly contract given his level of production (he won't even make as much as Haren in 2018, assuming the Nats pick up his options).As the song goes, the Nats have 99 problems, but Gio ain't one.

  10. John C. - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Gio finds your lack of faith disturbing, Theophilus. He and Desmond LAUGH at the Legion of Doom! :D

  11. Scott Margenau - Jun 20, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    theo. Not so much re: Gio. Best outing yet.

  12. David - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    Gio was not all over the place. 1 walk, 11 k's, 2 hits, 2 ER is superb. He basically made one bad pitch in 7 innings…

  13. DaveBinMD - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    @Ghost of Steve M.: As Harper pointed-out, sliding feet-first is harder on this particular injury, because like most players, it's his left leg that he tucks under him and before the rest of the body reaches the ground you actually slide initially with all your weight on the lower leg as it's bent under you. Exactly what you don't need in this case, it really torques the knee. We saw how badly he came-up limping after making that sliding feet-first catch in shallow right field late in the game on May 22 (weekday afternoon game) vs. the Giants. That was the most obvious time he aggravated it and that wasn't even mentioned later when he went on the DL.

  14. DaveBinMD - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    To clarify: As a general rule, yes, sliding feet-first is much better for reducing the risk of a variety of injuries, but until Harper's knee is completely healed (which might require an off-season to make happen, bursitis is no fun), he's going to be at greater risk of re-aggravating this particular injury by sliding feet-first. He could try tucking his right leg under him instead of his left, but by the time a player reaches that level, something like sliding technique (since they all learned feet-first as kids) happens as second-nature, and is tough to re-learn.

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