The Washington Times - March 30, 2011, 06:52PM

Bryce Harper said Wednesday he expects to be healthy and ready to go for Single-A Hagerstown’s season opener on April 7 in Rome, G.A.

Harper, who sprained is left ankle while running out a single on March 21, feared the worst at first but was promptly taken for an X-ray and then an MRI, which both came back negative. Harper also said he did not swell — and he never has — so the test results were encouraging.


“When I went down, I was pretty worried about it because of the way it felt,” Harper said. “But after we got inside with the trainer and it calmed down, I wasn’t worried.”

Harper played in a minor league game on Sunday and Tuesday and will get back on the field at the end of this week when he returns to Florida after a two-day trip to Washington for NatsFest.

Hagerstown fans won’t get their first glimpse at the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft until Friday, April 15, when the Suns have their home opener. For his part, Harper said he plans on making Hagerstown the place to be for minor league baseball while he’s there.

“Everybody’s telling me it’s not that great,” Harper said. “But I’m going to make it great, make it a baseball town, and we’re going to win down there. We’ve got a great program down there. A lot of good minor league guys coming up through the system.”