Washington Nationals Bryce Harper Requires Surgery
The Washington Nationals today are reeling today as news is being reported that star outfielder Bryce Harper will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament to his left thumb. Harper is expected to be out of the lineup until at least early July, ESPN.com is reporting.
Harper injured the thumb while sliding head-first into third base in the Nationals 11-1 victory over the San Diego Padres last Friday night.
The injuries seem to keep mounting for Harper, whose reckless style of play has become somewhat of a concern for the Nationals front office. Harper missed 44 games last season with a knee injury suffered in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. While the injury at Dodger Stadium was the only other case where Harper was injured and missed extended playing time, there have been other instances where Harper could have been seriously hurt, but thankfully he was able to escape major injuries. Earlier this season in a game against division rival New York Mets, Harper took a knee to the head while sliding into second base and trying to break up a double-play.
The loss of Harper to the Nationals is a big one, as they are 14-12 in the W-L column, sitting in third place in the NL East division, four games back of the division leading Atlanta Braves. Additionally, the injury bug has plagued the Nationals this season, as they are already playing without starting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (hand injury), starting catcher Wilson Ramos (also out with a hand injury), and newly acquired starting pitcher Doug Fister (back). Fister is expected to be back in the Nationals rotation by early May, while Zimmerman and Ramos still have some recovery time left with their injuries.
The start of this 2014 season hasn’t gone as expected for Harper, who was thought to be an NL MVP candidate. Before the injury, Harper this season was batting .289/.352/.422 with 4 2B’s, 1 HR, 9 RBI’s, in 83 AB’s. He was recently pulled from a game and benched by Nationals manager Matt Williams for failing to run out a ground ball hit to the pitcher and showing a lack of hustle.