Nationals Manager Matt Williams is hopeful of a July 1 return for injured Bryce Harper, but admitted there is no firm timetable for the outfielder’s healing left thumb. “He’s itching and pacing,” Williams said. “It’s one of those things where he’s 21 years old and if it doesn’t heal right it can affect him long term. We want to make sure he’s good before he can get back out here. We don’t know yet. I’d like to see back by the first of July. That’s a good target but we just don’t know how everything else goes.” Harper has been on the disabled list since April 26 with a torn ulnar collateral in his left thumb that required surgery. The timetable given then was a 6-8 weeks. Harper has been seeing an occupational therapist and has been doing some strengthening exercises and light baseball activities, Williams said, but has been still limited. Before Tuesday’s game, Harper did some light fielding work on grounders — to “maintain as much motion as he can,” Williams said — but he still can’t hit or play catch. When Harper plays catch, he wears a glove but a trainer catches the ball for him; he only throws.
Nationals hopeful of July 1 return for Bryce Harper
Washington Post | Jun 5