The Washington Post

Davey Johnson says Bryce Harper may need offseason surgery on his knee

Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Bryce Harper’s occasional lack of hustle had been a simmering issue within the Nationals’ clubhouse, and it came to the surface Friday night after he jogged down the line with two outs in the eighth inning on a grounder that second baseman Daniel Murphy bobbled.

Manager Davey Johnson never had a chance to weigh in, and today he brought up a possible reason for Harper’s slow pace. Johnson believes there is a chance Harper is still favoring his banged-up left knee, which landed him on the disabled list for more than a month in June. Johnson said Harper may require minor surgery to remove an inflamed bursa sac.

“That was talked about a while back,” Johnson said. “That’s a definite option. It’s going to be up to Bryce and” medical director Dr. Wiemi Douoguih.

Harper still receives treatment on the left knee and wears a pad to protect it.

“I think it’s still an issue,” Johnson said. “I think it’s probably there. He can probably play with it. But if he headfirst slides or dives in the outfield, it’s probably going to flare up. Hopefully, he’ll get through the season.”

Still, Johnson did not excuse Harper’s jogging to first. Harper had sprinted after two grounders earlier in the game, and he has not complained to the coaching staff or publicly about his knee.

“My opinion is, you take nothing for granted,” Johnson said. “You hit a groundball, the guy could boot it. You run. Anytime you quit going hard, it’s a losing attitude. With him, I’m between knowing if he’s babying his knee, because he’s usually 100 percent. But I’ll talk to him.”

Johnson did not appear to have major concerns about Harper’s effort. But he allowed that he had noticed Harper coasting at times. He mentioned one example. Harper hit a flyball against the Braves at Nationals Park, and when he reached first he peeled away to the right side rather than making a turn. Johnson approached him in the dugout.

“I haven’t seen a lot of it. I’ve seen a little of it,” Johnson said. “The flyball, he made a right turn. I had to question him on that. I don’t know what’s going through his mind. I’ll have a conversation with him.”

Johnson had to address Harper’s situation today because he left last night’s loss in the fourth after he felt light-headed due to dehydration. “I pinch hit for myself,” Johnson said.

Once Johnson retreated to his office, medical personnel tried to administer an IV, but it didn’t take. “I’m too old,” Johnson said. “They couldn’t even find my veins. I gave them two tries. I said, ‘That’s it.’ I tried it another way. I said, ‘Just bring me some water.’ After a good night of sleep I feel great.”

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans
Next Story
James Wagner · August 31, 2013