Bryce Harper is still dealing with tenderness and discomfort following a minor procedure Friday to remove an ingrown toenail. Harper said the toe on his left foot, his back foot used to drive his body forward when he swings, was still bugging him on Saturday afternoon and didn’t feel able enough to play against the Cubs.
Though Manager Davey Johnson was unsure if Harper would return for Sunday’s series finale, the injury is not expected to keep the outfielder out of the lineup much longer. Johnson noted that Harper’s big toe appeared improved on Saturday. (The injury was originally and incorrectly identified as an ingrown toenail in his right foot.)
Harper, who is hitting .302 with 10 home runs and 21 RBI, has been the best and most consistent hitter all season in a slow-starting Nationals lineup. The Nationals are already without Jayson Werth, who landed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain on Saturday. Roger Bernadina starts in right field and Tyler Moore in left.