ATLANTA — X-rays done on the left side of outfielder Bryce Harper came back negative, according to Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
That is good news for the Nationals, who are hoping that Harper is able to avoid serious injury.
Harper, who slammed his left side into the scoreboard in right field on Tuesday night trying to rob Tim Hudson of a home run, checked his swing in his at-bat in the sixth inning on Wednesday against left-hander Paul Maholm.
He appeared to grimace after the swing.
The Nationals diagnosed the 20-year-old with a contusion on his left side and manager Davey Johnson said he will be put on medication to help with his discomfort while also undergoing treatment on the area. It’s unlikely that he will play on Thursday, but Harper said Wednesday night that he could “come in tomorrow and feel like a million bucks and play.”
While Harper said his collision with the wall on Tuesday night, which gave him a nasty bruise all down the left side of his torso, didn’t help matters, the check swing “just got me a little bit.”
“I think having all the force going towards the ball and then just stopping immediately it just got me,” Harper said. “Got me to the point where I couldn’t breathe real quick, and had to catch my breath. It didn’t feel very good.”
Harper ground out to first base in the at-bat and only got a little more than halfway down the base line before Freddie Freeman tagged the bag and Harper retreated to the dugout. He then spent time talking with manager Davey Johnson and head trainer Lee Kuntz.
When the Nationals came out to the field for the bottom of the sixth inning, Roger Bernadina had replaced Harper in right field.
It is unclear at this point if the Nationals are planning to send Harper for an MRI, in addition to the X-rays, in order to rule out any type of oblique or other muscle strain.