Andrews confirms original diagnosis of Harper's knee
Nationals staying positive as MRI reveals no structural damage
DENVER -- A visit to renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews Monday confirmed the original diagnosis of prepatellar bursitis in Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper's left knee.
"All good! #FinishIt," Harper tweeted after the visit with Andrews.
All good! #FinishIt- Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) June 10, 2013
Nationals head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz said they sent Harper to Pensacola, Fla., Monday to visit with Dr. Andrews for a second opinion on the knee injury. He said they often send players on the disabled list to Andrews for a second opinion.
"We checked out via MRI his knee and it's structurally sound," Kuntz said. "Everything's good, all the ligaments are intact. No cartilage damage, nothing like that. It's soft tissue in the bursar that's inflamed."
Harper did receive cortisone and PRP injections to help with the recovery. The cortisone reduces the inflammation in the knee, while the PRP -- a mixture of his own white blood cells spun down and concentrated -- reduces the risk of infection.
Harper will also wear a knee immobilizer, which many fans saw in a picture posted to Twitter earlier today, to make sure he rests the knee. That picture sparked rumors that Harper, 20, had surgery, but Kuntz said such rumors were false.
"A lot of times when kids hurt something, the doctor will put them in cast," Kuntz explained. "Why, because it's broken? No, so he stays off it. So we put him an immobilizer just to allow him to rest."
The Nationals will re-evaluate Harper in a week, and if he has made the required progress, Kuntz said Harper "will resume activity" and return to the field as soon as possible. He declined to comment on what the next steps might be if Harper's knee doesn't heal as expected.
"They tell the player always risks and benefits of things, and all this was positive things for Bryce," Kuntz said. "Just rest this, we'll see how it responds, and we'll go from there."
Harper suffered the original injury when he smashed into the right-field wall at full speed while trying to track down a ball off the bat of Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis. He fell to the ground, motionless for several seconds, and eventually received seven stitches and bruised his knee and neck.
Harper has not played since a May 26 win over the Phillies, when he re-aggravated the swelling in his left knee and left after seven innings. On June 2, Washington placed him on the 15-day DL.
When asked if was relieved to hear Harper's injury was not more serious, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the team still misses his bat in the lineup.
"Well I'm not relieved, I wish he was right here, right now playing," Johnson said.
Harper, the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year, had 12 homers, 23 RBIs and was hitting .287 before the injury took him out of the lineup.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.