Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals hold a sizable 14.5-game lead in the National League East, which could come in handy down the stretch if they’re going to be without their star outfielder for much of the rest of the way.
After a three-hour rain delay, the Nationals took on the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night. In the first frame, Harper tried to beat out a grounder for a single, but in lunging for first base, his foot slid over the back of the bag, hyperextending his knee, according to manager Dusty Baker, and sending him flying before he crumpled to the ground in pain.
Scary moment in D.C. Bryce Harper suffers left leg injury and has to be helped off the field after slipping on first base. pic.twitter.com/rtsxIKOLWr
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 13, 2017
Harper was scheduled to have an MRI the following day.
Me seeing that Bryce Harper injury: pic.twitter.com/f7cOx0WU1W
— Stephanie Dyan ⚾️ (@stephaniedyan21) August 13, 2017
Waiting for the MRI update on Bryce Harper today… pic.twitter.com/Ewjj0YbGA8
— Connor Kosko (@CScostco) August 13, 2017
On Sunday, the team announced Harper avoided ligament damage but will be out indefinitely, though they added that they expect him to return before the close of the regular season.
“He was in obvious pain, and he was praying and I was praying, too,” Baker said following the game, a 3-1 victory. “That what we usually do when things are in a bad way. The good thing is he’s young and strong. I’m very optimistic that he’ll be at least fine shortly.”
Players on both sides were shook after the gruesome fall.
“It didn’t look good,” said Giants first baseman Ryder Jones. “I hope he’s all right. It’s just one of those freak plays where you kind of thought there would be a collision and there wasn’t and that might be part of it, too.”
Nationals starter Edwin Jackson allowed just one run over six innings to help lead Washington to a win. Harper was seen on his feet with a limp in the clubhouse afterward.
“It doesn’t matter what team you’re on,” said Edwin Jackson, who allowed one run across six innings to get the win. “When you see a caliber player like that or any player go down like that, you hope for the best. And it’s fortunate that he’s up and walking. He’s definitely one of those guys you can’t replace on a team. It’s crazy, but it’s definitely great to see him up in spirit and walking around.”