Mar 31, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT
[Updated 6:23 p.m.]
NEW YORK — Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper collided with Mets second baseman Eric Young, Jr. in the team’s season opener on Monday, as Young’s cleat ran into Harper’s helmet as he slid into second. Harper took the brunt of the hit directly on his forehead from Young’s right ankle.
Harper laid on the ground for about a minute as head trainer Lee Kuntz rushed out to assist him. He ended up walking off the field slowly on his own accord, and remained in the game after a brief delay.
The Nationals performed two concussion tests on Harper – one during the game and one after – and both were passed. Harper said after the team’s win he is now just dealing with a headache.
“I feel all right. It was his knee or his shin, he kind of blew me up a little bit. I feel okay now. I just got a pretty bad headache, things like that. No haziness or dizziness. That’s a plus. But my head hurts pretty bad right now.”
The play occurred on a forceout at second as Ian Desmond hit an infield groundball in the top of the second inning. Harper was sliding into second trying to break up the play when Young, who had jumped in the air to avoid the collision, made contact with his cleat.
Harper wasn’t very worried at first as he has knocked his head in a baseball game before.
“I was fine. I didn’t see stars or anything, and I’ve seen stars before. I knew I was going to be okay, but it’s a pretty bad headache.”
Matt Williams felt comfortable putting him back in after hearing from the training staff that Harper was okay.
“He passed it and he’s fine. That’s the way Bryce plays, he plays hard. Those things are going to happen from time to time. The doctor cleared him up, so he should be good.”
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