Bryce Harper likely to rest vs. Padres over weekend

Rob Carr

Harper has been struggling since returning from the DL on July 1.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will likely be kept out of the lineup against the Padres on Saturday and Sunday, according to manager Davey Johnson in a report from MLB.com.

More Nationals coverage: Federal Baseball

Harper, 20, missed over a month due to bursitis in his left knee, only returning to the lineup on July 1. In five games since, Harper has struggled. He hit a home run in his first at-bat after being activated, but has since gone 0-18 with seven strikeouts.

Johnson believes Harper's issues are both mental and physical and that the outfielder is still working off some rust after a long layoff.

Harper suffered the initial knee injury after crashing into the outfield wall April 30 in an attempt to rein in a home run. He then exacerbated the injury by again hitting the wall hard on May 13 in Los Angeles.

Roger Bernadina will likely start in left field for Washington while Harper sits.

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