Update: Nationals' Bryce Harper has MRI on thumb

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' slugger Bryce Harper is not in the lineup today, but Nats' skipper Matt Williams said he was available to pinch hit if necessary in the third game of four with the San Diego Padres this afternoon in the nation's capital.

Update - 6:20 PM EDT: Matt Williams talked briefly about Bryce Harper after today's game, saying that he could have been available in an emergency, but Williams also told reporters Harper's left thumb was still swollen after jamming it during last night's game as he slid into third base while hustling out a triple.

Here's the latest from Williams from this afternoon:

"He showed up this morning, a little swollen, Hand specialist saw him during the game. He is currently having an MRI. The X-rays were negative. He's having an MRI this afternoon. We'll have more details tonight or in the morning, but he's a little swollen today."

11:46 AM UPDATE: Bryce Harper drove in three runs with his base-clearing triple in the third inning of last night's 11-1 win over the San Diego Padres in Nationals Park, but the Washington Nationals' 21-year-old slugger injured his thumb sliding into the third on the play.

"For now he's okay," Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters after the game. "He jammed his thumb sliding into third on a triple. It's a little swollen. He could have continued to play, I think, tonight, but we thought it best to get on it right away. So we'll reevaluate him tomorrow. See where he's at, but just jammed it sliding into third."

"Got some swelling, so we're continuing to work on it. Barring some kind of change in plans, though, I don't think he'll be in the lineup today." - Matt Williams updating reporters on Harper's left thumb injury

"It started to swell," Williams explained, when asked about Harper remaining in the game for the fourth. "He jammed it and then after that half-inning it started to swell up a little bit, so we thought, 'Alright, let's get on it, get some treatment on it and make sure. But we'll see him again in the morning and see how he is."

The Nationals examined the left thumb but found only swelling.

"We had an X-ray," Williams said. "X-ray was negative."

Williams updated reporters on Harper's thumb in this morning's pregame press conference.

"[He's] sore," Williams said. "Got some swelling, so we're continuing to work on it. Barring some kind of change in plans, though, I don't think he'll be in the lineup today."

Harper will, however, be available to pinch hit if necessary.

"We'll have the hand specialist here today to look at it and make sure, but the early tests anyway are pretty good. X-rays are negative." - Matt Williams on Bryce Harper's left thumb issue

"He'll be available off the bench for sure," Williams said, "but I don't think he'll be in the lineup."

The Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick is going to see a hand specialist today to get another look.

"We'll have the hand specialist here today to look at it and make sure, but the early tests anyway are pretty good. X-rays are negative. There's some swelling there, but we just want to make sure we knock it out."

Asked if Harper would have an MRI on the hand, Williams said he wasn't sure.

"It depends on what the hand guy says," Williams explained. "See any thoughts that he has on it, but see him first."

The Nationals' released the lineup for this afternoon's game with the Padres after Williams spoke and Harper was indeed out. More info when it's available...

• Here's the Nationals' Harper-less lineup:

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