Aug 31, 2013, 6:31 PM EST
A day after Bryce Harper’s effort on a groundout was questioned by his teammates and bench coach Randy Knorr, manager Davey Johnson elaborated on what he thinks happened in the eighth inning of the Nationals’ loss to the Mets.
Johnson believes Harper was favoring his left knee on the play, the same one that’s been sore since he collided twice with outfield walls back in May. Harper told CSN recently he hasn’t felt as strong since banging his knee, and Johnson now says it’s a concern.
“I think it’s still an issue,” Johnson said. “I think it’s probably there. He can probably play with it, but if he head-first slides or dives in the outfield, it’s probably going to flare up. But hopefully he’ll get through the season.”
Whatever the reason for Harper pulling up early on the ground ball, Johnson plans to have a talk with the 20-year-old about it.
“I don’t know what’s going through his mind. I’ll have a conversation,” he said. “He’s usually 100 percent in. But I’ll talk to him.”
Johnson also reiterated what was discussed back in June when Harper saw Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, that offseason surgery may be necessary to remove the bursa sac in his knee.
“That was talked about a while back. That’s definitely an option,” Johnson said. “I think it’s going to be up to Bryce and Dr. Wiemi [Douoguih].”
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