Bryce Harper injury: Nationals OF could begin rehab assignment Tuesday

USA TODAY Sports

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is getting closer to a return to the field.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is currently scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac on Tuesday, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.

Harper has been sidelined since May 26 with bursitis in his left knee, a condition that may have been bothering him for several weeks while he continued to play. Given his growing reputation as a hard-nosed player, manager Davey Johnson was optimistic about his ability to return quickly, saying, "Knowing Harp, I don’t think he’s going to need much [time rehabbing]."

Comak reports that Harper will work out with the Nationals through Monday in preparation for the rehab assignment. If all goes well, he could return to the big league club after about four rehab starts. The 2012 National League Rookie of the Year was hitting .287/.386/.587 with 12 home runs prior to landing on the DL.

"The main thing, it’s not so much the timing as it is just seeing how he feels after playing, and how the knee reacts to being out there for nine innings," Johnson said.

Harper won't be rushed back; both he and the organization want to be sure he is completely over the injury. When Harper does return, he will be wearing protective knee pads to avoid re-aggravating the injury on the base paths and in the field.

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