Sportress of Blogitude

Dusty Baker says Bryce Harper is ‘a long way from running’

Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker on Wednesday provided an update on the status of Bryce Harper. And from the sound of it, the slugger won’t be back in the lineup anytime soon.

Harper has been out with a hyper-extended left knee suffered in an Aug. 12 game when he slipped on first base. Subsequent reports indicated the outfielder also suffered a “significant bone bruise” in the base-running accident as well.

The Nationals slugger was placed on the 10-day disabled list, but Baker said Wednesday Harper remains “a long way from running,” per a tweet from The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes. Baker also added that Harper is getting frustrated with the situation,

Harper, who was batting .325 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI before the injury, also weighed in on the ongoing injury situation, revealing he’s dealing with another injury as well. Harper also stated there’s no plan to set a target date for his return.

The Nationals have gone 11-6 in Harper’s absence, and at 80-51, still hold a commanding 14-game lead in the NL East. In other words, their playoff ticket is effectively punched.

While things may not be progressing quickly enough from Harper’s perspective, the Nationals have afforded themselves considerable latitude and don’t have to force Harper back onto the field for any competitive reason.

That said, the Nationals without question would prefer to get Harper back in the lineup ahead of the postseason, if for nothing else but to allow the slugger to knock off the rust.

Although at this point, considering Harper isn’t close to running yet and with only 31 games remaining in the regular season, the Nationals might just be hoping he’s fully healthy and ready to contribute come October.