Nationals Manager Davey Johnson gave Harper a day off Wednesday, allowing him some extra rest with no game on Thursday.
Two collisions with the outfield wall early in the season helped contribute to Harper's current health. The first, on April 30, ended with a bruised rib cage. Two weeks later, Harper hit the wall hard again and ended up with bursitis in his left knee. The latter injury put him on the disabled list for five weeks.
"Ever since I hit the wall, pretty much every day I feel something different," Harper was quoted as saying. "Or something will feel better, and then something else hurts. It’s pretty much just the left side of my body. That’s what hurts me right now."
Harper started the season well, posting a 1150 OPS through April. After the first collision with the wall, his OPS dropped to just 687 in 18 May games. He missed all of June, but saw his OPS rise to 786 in July and 872 in August. Overall, Harper has played in 100 games this season and has hit .275/.378/.507 with 19 home runs.