Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is nearing a return to baseball activities following a series of strength tests, reports NatsInsider.com. General manager Mike Rizzo believes that Harper should be able to hit, field and run the bases within the next few days.
Harper, 20, has been on the disabled list since June 1 with left knee bursitis. He received a cortisone shot and a platelet-rich plasma injection nine days ago that has helped reduce the swelling in the knee. Harper has been walking and jogging with a knee brace, as well as performing some running tests.
The Nationals are hopeful that Harper could return to the lineup shortly after a return to baseball activities. He is expected to go on a brief minor-league rehab stint before rejoining the team.
The Nationals will continue to monitor their young star's knee, even after he returns.
"When it gets stressed and hit again, there's a possibility it could swell up again," Rizzo was quoted as saying in the Nats Insider article. "It's something he's certainly going to have to monitor, and we'll see if it happens again and if we have to treat it again."
Harper has been one of the National League's best hitters this year, in just his second major-league season. Over 44 games, he has a .973 OPS with 12 home runs.