Bryce Harper likely will test out his injured left knee while the Nationals are in Philadelphia, perhaps performing baseball activities, according to Manager Davey Johnson. If all goes well, Harper could play in rehab games and rejoin the Nationals after that, Johnson said.
Harper was instructed to rest his left knee for a week after his Monday visit with orthopedic surgeon James Andrews for a second opinion. Harper was given a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and cortisone injection into the bursa sac to help reduce the inflammation. Andrews reaffirmed the Nationals medical staff’s original diagnosis of patellar bursitis and that there is no structural damage to the knee.
“We felt the PRP and cortisone was the prudent way to get this thing resolved faster,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said before Friday’s game at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Rizzo also clarified the decision-making behind the cortisone shot. Harper had said the week before his visit with Andrews that he was opposed to a cortisone shot, saying: “I don’t want to put any of that stuff in my knee or in my body. I think that can do some damage to my knee. I’m not going to do that at 20 years old.”
Rizzo said Harper never spoke to him about his reservations regarding cortisone and only knew of them after hearing Harper tell reporters. “But when we sat him down and explained it to him with Dr. Andrews and [Nationals team physician] Wiemi [Douoguih] and talked to his dad about it, he felt pretty good about the decision.”
Harper hasn’t played since he aggravated the knee injury on May 26; the original injury occurred in a May 13 crash into the right field fence in Los Angeles.
>>> Wilson Ramos’s recent setback in the rehab of his left hamstring will last only “several days,” according to Rizzo, and not weeks as Johnson had originally suggested. Ramos felt something in his leg muscle as he was performing base running drills earlier this week at the Nationals spring training complex in Viera.
The Nationals immediately shut down Ramos, given his recurring hamstring issues. Ramos was rehabbing a second strain of the same hamstring. He strained his hamstring April 13 and missed 14 games. He came back but re-injured the hamstring May 15 and has missed 26 games while on the disabled list. He was about four weeks into a six-week rehab when he felt the discomfort this week.
“According to our doctors, there isn’t any larger concern that it’s a chronic type of injury,” Rizzo said.
>>> Danny Espinosa played three innings Thursday at Class AAA Syracuse in his first rehab game as he recovers from the lingering effects of a fractured right wrist. Batting right-handed, he went 1 for 2 with a run and strikeout. Espinosa’s wrist felt fine after the game, Johnson said.
“He’s a tough guy,” Johnson said. “I don’t think these injuries will set him back. I think he just needs to get his timing down and start feeling good about himself from the left and the right side.”