In a Saturday night game against the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals' strong season suffered a swift gut punch, as superstar right fielder Bryce Harper slipped on a wet base, causing his leg to buckle and sending him to the ground.
He was helped off the field and did not put any weight on his left leg as athletic trainer Paul Lessard and hitting coach Rick Schu helped him to the clubhouse. General manager Mike Rizzo announced Sunday morning that his star outfielder avoided structural damage to the knee.
Edwin Jackson gave up just one run in six innings to earn a 3-1 win over the Giants on Saturday.
Rain delayed the game for nearly three hours before the team announced it was being called.
Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, is now tied for the Major League lead with 14 two-strike home runs this season and leads the MLB with 12 first-inning longballs.
"I don't think he has any fear", Baker said.
Harper was in severe and obvious pain, sending baseball fans into a frenzy, many believing the injury was a torn ACL. A bruise! Maybe Harper will be back out there in another week or two! .
"He's a quick learner", manager Dusty Baker said. Harper fell to the ground and held his left knee for several minutes after making the second out. He'll be placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday and his status moving forward will likely depend on how quickly the bone bruise heals.
While the injury itself looked bad, the Nationals and Harper appeared to have dodged a major bullet here. The first game takes place at 1:05 p.m. ET, with the second meeting set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
But the game is unlikely to have an impact on the playoff race, as the Nationals lead the NL East by 14½ games and the Giants are out of contention.