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Bryce Harper is aiming to rejoin the Nationals on July 1

Jun 5, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

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Bryce Harper has not yet been cleared to catch fly balls or take swings six weeks after surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, but Mark Zuckerman of reports that the Nationals are hoping to have him back in the lineup by July 1.

Nationals manager Matt Williams told Zuckerman that July 1 “would be a good target, but we just don’t know … it depends on how everything else goes.” He then added that Harper is “itching” to return, but the team is taking things cautiously with the 21-year-old.

Whenever he does return Harper’s presence could cause the Nationals to shift Ryan Zimmerman back to the infield after bringing him off from the disabled list as a left fielder this week. Zimmerman has also been taking ground balls at first base recently and an outfield with Harper, Denard Span, and Jayson Werth wouldn’t leave much room for him.

Of course, that’s at least 3-4 weeks away and these things often sort themselves out.

  1. stoutfiles - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Mr. Glass is back!

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Shouldn’t he aim for July 4?

  3. echech88 - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Related: Bryce Harper set to re-join the Disabled List around July 8th.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Honestly, the DL hs the best team in baseball this year. Not only in terms of high-end talent, but depth as well. Of course, luck and health will come into play. They just have to hope that all of these guys remain unhealthy so they don’t lose anyone for an extended period of time.

    • coninernineruno - Jun 5, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      They have to do something about their base running. They’re pretty stationary.

  5. thenaturalmevs - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    He’s really more of a product spokesperson than he is a baseball player anymore. It’s really sad. You can almost guarantee he won’t be back for long – maybe 10 days or so and there will be another bang, knick, bruise, bump, flu, dizziness, headache, cold, wall bang, limp, sprain, or something that he’s missing a day or two here and a day or two there for.

    Also when they said he would “be out 6 to 8 weeks” somehow I knew it would be around 10, minimum.

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