Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo explained to reporters last week that the trip Bryce Harper was making to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday was just part of the team's protocol with injured players. Harper's swollen left knee, which the 20-year-old outfielder injured over the course of a few weeks when he collided with walls in Atlanta and Los Angeles and further aggravated in a series of sliding plays in the outfield and on the basepaths, has kept him out of the lineup since May 26th.
Harper's knee swelled after a "light workout" in a pool last week, but Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reported on Sunday that, "... both Rizzo and [Nats' manager Davey] Johnson said Harper’s knee has shown improvement."
The Nationals' GM was quoted in the article saying that, "There’s no worry about it."
The original diagnosis was bursitis in Harper's knee. When Nationals' team physician Dr. Wiemi Douoguih spoke to reporters last week, he said that the, "... worst-case scenario is that it swells up and then it would need to be drained, or even have that sac surgically removed," but since they wanted to avoid any sort of surgical procedure the Nats were shutting Harper down to give the knee time to heal.
In an update on Monday, the WaPost's Mr. Kilgore wrote that, "One person familiar with the visit said the injury that has sidelined Harper since May 27 will not lead to long-term damage." The next update came from the Nationals' 2010 no.1 overall pick himself who took to Twitter (@BHarper3407) to provide the following update Monday night:
All good! #FinishIt— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) June 10, 2013
Tuesday morning two Twitter accounts provided pictures of Harper at the airport on the way to Colorado sporting a knee brace, but there was still no official word from the team. In yet another report by the Washington Post's Nats beat writer, Mr. Kilgore quoted Scott Boras, Harper's agent, saying that, "Harper underwent 'no operative procedures' in his Monday visit with orthopedist James Andrews,":
"Boras specifically included arthroscopic surgery under the umbrella of 'operative procedures' Harper did not undergo in his visit to Andrews."
The only other information the agent provided was that Harper would be on a "physical therapy plan." The team made no official comment on what Harper learned during his visit to Dr. Andrew until two hours before tonight's game when team trainer Lee Kuntz met with the media. According to reports from Coors Field this afternoon, Harper had a PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injection and a cortisone shot in his injured knee:
#nats head trainer Lee Kuntz said Bryce Harper had a PRP shot as well as a cortisone shot in his bursa sac during his visit to Dr. Andrews.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 11, 2013
The plan is for Harper to rest for one week and then the docs will reevaluate him. Knee was put in brace solely to rest it.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 11, 2013
Nats head trainer Lee Kuntz says James Andrews affirmed original diagnosis. Bryce Harper received a PRP and cortisone shot in his knee.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) June 11, 2013
Head trainer Lee Kuntz said Dr. Andrews agreed with the initial diagnosis of patella bursitis and agreed with the #nats' treatment course.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 11, 2013
Per Kuntz, cortisone is what helps with inflammation in bursa. PRP injection helps with potential infection. No ligament/cartilage damage.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) June 11, 2013
No word in any of the early reports as to when the Nationals expect Harper to be able to return to the lineup.