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Bryce Harper injury update: Harper suffered significant bone bruise in left knee; “We feel we dodged a bullet.” - Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo

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According to reports from the nation’s capital this morning Bryce Harper suffered a significant bone bruise in his left leg, but avoided serious damage when he slipped on the first base bag and went down hard.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals Michael Owens-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports from Nationals Park this morning, where General Manager Mike Rizzo met with reporters, Bryce Harper suffered a significant bone bruise in his left knee, but no ligament tears or other damage in last night’s game.

“The good news is that there’s no ligament or tendon damage, which is pretty remarkable in my mind just seeing the type of injury that he had,” Rizzo said today.

“There is a significant bone bruise when he hyperextended the knee, so although we feel like we dodged a bullet a bit here with any long-term ligament and tendon damage, the bone bruise is something of significance, and we’re going to treat him cautiously and hopefully have him back later on this season.”

Harper is being placed on the DL. “We’re optimistic that he should be back by the end of the year,” Rizzo added.

Michael A. Taylor, who was on a rehab assignment after suffering an oblique injury in early July, has been called up. There’s no timetable for Harper’s return.

Dusty Baker was asked last night, after Harper suffered an injury to his left knee when he slipped on a wet first base bag, if he thought, in hindsight, about whether or not they should have even played the game, or if he was surprised they started, in the rain, three-plus hours late, with a light drizzle still falling in the nation’s capital.

“It was in the hands of the league, really,” Baker said. “And the unbalanced schedule here, this was [the San Francisco Giants’] last trip in, and had we not played, then we’d definitely, which we do, have a doubleheader tomorrow, and then a split doubleheader, so we have an early morning and a long evening, and you had to try to play the game, so this is their only time in with the unbalanced schedule, so we were caught at the mercy of the schedule.”

Harper’s left cleat slipped over the bag as he ran out a grounder to first in his first at bat of the game. He hyperextended his left leg when it came to an abrupt stop on the far side of the bag, and he tumbled over in obvious pain before he was visited by the team’s trainer and a visibly shook Baker. Harper had to be helped off the field, and all Baker could say after the game was that the 24-year-old outfielder would have an MRI today. He asked for everyone to pray for a positive outcome.

“We’re just urging everybody out there that are Nationals fans and baseball fans to just say a prayer for him tonight,” Baker said, “... because he was in obvious pain out there, but we’re just hoping for the best.”

Here’s what Rizzo had to say this morning via reporters on the scene in the nation’s capital: