Harper has been out since late April due to a torn ligament in his left thumb. The injury occurred when he was sliding into third base during an April 25. A couple of days later, Harper was placed on the disabled list.
“If it takes me till after the All-Star break or a month after the All-Star break, then it’s going to take me that long,” Harper said. “I’m not going to rush back. I’m not going to do anything stupid. I’m just going to see how I feel and go from there.”
Harper has been unable to take any exercises which requires fielding due to the inability to close his glove around a ball. He’s hasn’t swung a bat using both hands either. He recently began throwing in order to regain some motion.
Of note, Ryan Zimmerman manned left field, Harper’s usual defensive position, in the previous two games as well as today’s game. You would believe that Zimmerman will see the majority of the action in left until Harper’s return. One reason could be the struggles of Nate McLouth (.180 BA, .305 OBP), plus simply needing Zim’s bat in the lineup to fill the offensive void created by Harper’s absence.
Nats manager Matt Williams would like Harper to be back by the beginning of next month, but Harper states he’s “not going to rush back”. Harper also added that he’s doesn’t “really have that itching feel”, but that he does “want to play”.
At the time of the injury, Harper had compiled a slashline of .289/.352/.422 with 1 homer and 9 RBI. He’s played in 22 games and made 91 plate appearances.