MLB notes: Nationals star Bryce Harper has bone bruise, no ligament damage to knee

The Washington Nationals say Bryce Harper has a “significant” bone bruise in his left knee but no ligament damage, and general manager Mike Rizzo is hopeful the star outfielder will be back this season.

Harper injured his knee when he slipped on first base in the first inning of a rain-delayed game against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night. Rizzo said Sunday that Harper had an MRI exam afterward that showed no structural damage.

“Although we feel we've dodged a bullet a bit here with any long-term ligament and tendon damage, the bone bruise is something of significance, and we're going to treat him cautiously and hopefully have him back later on this season,” Rizzo said. “We put ourselves in a position that we can treat it cautiously and we'll continue down that road.”

Rizzo says there's no timetable for Harper to return. The team is placing him on the 10-day disabled list and activating outfielder Michael Taylor.

Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, is having another spectacular season for division-leading Washington, hitting .326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs.

Rizzo — and anyone watching the play — feared it was a serious, potentially season-ending injury. Harper clutched at his left knee and didn't put any weight on it as he was helped off the field.

“We were all holding our breath last night a little bit and hoping for the best,” Rizzo said. “Got a glimmer of hope last night when he was able to walk up the stairs from the dugout to the clubhouse and put some weight on it. Had some optimism.”

Rizzo cautioned that “the bone bruise is real” and that the team has the luxury of being extra cautious because of its 14 1/2-game lead in the NL East. Given injuries to Harper, Stephen Strasburg — who has a rehab assignment Monday — and others, the Nationals' focus is getting healthy for the playoffs.

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Major league RBI leader Nolan Arenado left the Colorado Rockies' game at Miami after being hit on the left hand by an 88-mph pitch thrown by Vance Worley. Arenado consulted with a trainer near the dugout before leaving the game in the fifth inning Sunday. He has driven in 100 runs, including 16 game-winning RBIs, which also leads the majors. The All-Star third baseman has missed only three games this season and is batting .311. …

Colorado Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis will complete his comeback from chemotherapy for testicular cancer by starting Monday night's game in Denver against Atlanta. The 28-year-old Bettis finished his last round of treatment in May, two months after doctors discovered his testicular cancer had spread. He had surgery in November to remove the cancer, but it returned and he was forced to leave the team in March for chemotherapy. The game will be Bettis' first since Sept. 30. He went 14-8 for the Rockies last year. ..

The San Diego Padres committed to their rebuilding program under Andy Green, giving their manager a three-year extension Sunday through 2021. “I can't hide my happiness,” Green said. “I'm thrilled and excited to be able to staying here to lead this organization. There is no other place I'd rather be.” Green, 40, is in the second year of his original contract with the struggling Padres (51-65), and the organization is encouraged by the way he has handled his young team.


UPDATES:

12:35 p.m.: This article has been updated with news of Nolan Arrenado’s injury.

This article was originally published at 9:40 a.m.

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