The Washington Nationals fell short in their attempt to sweep the New York Mets on Thursday and Bryce Harper fell short on a diving attempt on a fly ball hit his way in the bottom of the ninth inning. Harper dropped to his knees after the attempt, causing a bit of scare in D.C.
After the game, Harper was seen receiving treatment on his back. Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post tweeted after the game:
Bryce Harper receiving treatment on sore back. Could be out tomorrow at Fenway.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) June 7, 2012
Harper's first game at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox might be the biggest game of his career thus far. The atmosphere at Fenway will be hostile and Sox Nation will be ready to welcome the phenom in their own way.
Despite the thought that the Nats might play it safe with Harper's back, Harper begs to differ.
According to Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com, Harper said, "I was just trying to take a minute, but I'm good. I'm totally fine to play. I won't be out of the lineup."
Kolko continues that when asked about when he actually hurt the back, Harper said, "I didn't hurt it. I'm good. Don't worry about it. Feel great."
It is going to be a waiting game now for Harper as it ultimately comes down to Davey Johnson and the Nationals' hierarchy as to whether or not Harper starts on Friday at Fenway. We have seen the Nats play it very conservatively with Harper's injuries in the past throughout the minors and even in spring training this year.
They do not want to risk any injury progressing to a more serious nature and who would blame them?
The 19-year-old rookie is hitting .276 with five home runs, 14 RBI and 23 runs scored.
He is well on his way to the rookie of the year as long as this back issue turns out to be nothing more.