The Washington Times - June 24, 2013, 08:46PM

There was some question throughout the weekend over when Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper would be ready to begin a rehab assignment in the minor leagues. But Tuesday evening, after Harper worked out at Nationals Park in the afternoon, the team planned for him to head to Single-A Potomac on Tuesday evening.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Harper was “scheduled” to go out on Tuesday. That would be a major step in the 20-year-old’s impending return to the Nationals’ lineup from a bout with bursitis in his left knee.

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Harper has previously said that he would prefer to play about six games on rehab assignment in order to not only test his knee and ensure the swelling does not return but also to regain his timing at the plate.

Manager Davey Johnson has had other ideas, though, hopeful that Harper will need only a few games before he’s convinced his knee is fine and can return healthy.

Harper, who has not played since May 26, was in and out of the Nationals’ lineup after his May 13 collision with the right field wall at Dodger Stadium. While he dealt with multiple issues from that collision, the most cumbersome became his swollen left knee.

After aggravating it while sliding on May 26, Harper sat for a week before succumbing to the disabled list. 

Harper visited with Dr. James Andrews on June 11, where he received a cortisone shot and a platelet-rich plasma injection in his knee to help alleviate the swelling. He was then held out of most activity and placed in a stabilizing brace for a week. He began walking and jogging last Monday.

He took batting practice on the field Sunday for the first time since being cleared to resume activity. 

The Nationals’ offense has missed his presence significantly. The Nationals are 12-19 when Harper does not play. 

Johnson said on Sunday that it was unlikely Harper would begin a rehab assignment before Wednesday, but that thinking obviously changed after his workout on the team’s off day on Monday.