According to a report by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes this afternoon, which cited “people familiar with the situation”, Bryce Harper will return to the Washington Nationals’ lineup on Monday night in Philadelphia after missing 40 games.
MASN’s Mark Zuckerman too has spoken to sources who say Harper, barring any sort of setback in the next twenty-four hours, will return to the lineup against the Phillies.
Harper, 24, suffered a significant bone bruise in his left knee and a calf strain in his left leg when he slipped on a wet first base bag while running out a grounder in an August 12th game in the nation’s capital.
The hope from the start, after the initial diagnosis, was that Harper would return in time to get some at bats in before the start of the postseason, and it looks like the best-case scenario worked out for the 2017 NL East champions.
The plan is for Bryce Harper to be active tomorrow in Philly, according to people familiar with the situation.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 24, 2017
Harper worked his way up from light running to batting practice, and two simulated games in the last week, and he’s set to return to live action after hitting 27 doubles and 29 home runs in 106 games and 472 plate appearances, over which he put up a .326/.419/.614 line on the season before the injury.
After the second simulated game on Saturday, Harper told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, that the team hadn’t yet decided on the next step in his rehab.
“We haven’t really ruled out anything,” Harper explained. “If it is instructs or it is up here, just trying to see where I’m at. Talk to (general manager Mike) Rizzo, talk to the trainers, talk to Dusty. We want to win these games still up here, so I don’t want to take anything away from anyone else and things like that. So just go from where we’re at and see where we are the next day.”
Plan for last week or so has been for Harper to return tomorrow in Philly, source said. Unless something weird happens, he'll be activated.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) September 24, 2017
Baker was asked if he expected to have Harper back in the lineup tomorrow night.
“We’re still trying to make up our minds,” he said, “and so we’ll let you know tomorrow. I know you guys are going to be up all night trying to figure it out.”