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Williams: Harper “full-go” from start of camp

Feb 15, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

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VIERA, Fla. — Bryce Harper hasn’t reported to spring training yet, but the Nationals star outfielder will be cleared for full participation once he does, according to new manager Matt Williams.

“As far as I know, he is full-go for spring training,” Williams said Saturday following the club’s first workout for pitchers and catchers. “We’re going to monitor him, though. We’re going to see how his knee reacts.”

Harper had surgery in late-October to debride and repair the bursa sac in his left knee after playing through pain for most of the season. The recovery time from that procedure was said to be roughly 16 weeks, which would coincide with the start of spring training, but Harper suggested late last month at NatsFest he might not be 100 percent when he reported.

Position players are scheduled to report on Tuesday, but Harper is expected to arrive in Viera before then. The Nationals will watch the 21-year-old closely as he participates in drills, but Williams believes the real test of his knee will come once the Grapefruit League season begins Feb. 28.

“Even in a rehab situation, there’s no way to really simulate a game or the stuff that we do on the field until you do it,” the manager said. “That’s why guys go out on rehab and play games, because you just can’t do it. So we’ll monitor him every day. If we see anything that’s bothering him, we’ll modify his program first. And if we’ve got to hold him out a day, we’ll hold him out a day to make sure he’s ready to go.

“As of right now, he’s full-go.”

  1. scnatsfan - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    I want him full go opening day not first day of spring

    • Sonny G 10 - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Definitely full go on opening day, but I’ll take full go now if its available.

  2. ArVAFan - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    Greetings from Viera. Plane was late, so missed the pitchers (and Mark, again), but did get to see some of the catchers workout. I can attest to several items:

    1. Snyder is a lot taller than Leon. To my eyes, significantly more than the difference listed on the roster–but hey, maybe Leon was measured when the moon was full or something. Watching them do one of their drills that involved stepping over an average hurdle and then bending under a raised one certainly showed the difference. Most of them looked pretty awkward in that drill.

    2. The rest of the agility drills looked better, and no one winced or appeared to be less flexible or strong during the more typical stretching and stamina exercises in the grass (i.e. alternating toe touches while laying on one’s back, plank, and that “leg over” stretch on the ground). So from personal observation, everyone’s hammies looked to be in good shape. That includes Ramoose, and the rest of him didn’t look bad, either!

    3. The uniform folks work fast. Lobaton had his jersey already (and not glued on like Blevins).

    4. You can get really close to the players. I know that’s been said before, but it bears repeating: basically, you’re close enough to see them sweat.

    5. The weather cleared up to sunny and breezy: I only needed a (Nats, of course) t-shirt and a long sleeve shirt over it.

    Seeing-eye Single was here this a.m., so I will have a pitcher’s training report later tonight after I get all the details from her.

    • dgourds - Feb 15, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      Thanks for the observations. I like em. Keep them coming please.

  3. Theophilus T.S. - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Harper ought not be allowed to speak in public without voice-eraser nearby,.

    • David Proctor - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      huh?

      • Joe Seamhead - Feb 15, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Pretty sure that’s a clown statement, Bro…

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