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Harper cleared to play, Zim still not cleared to swing

Sep 14, 2015, 6:01 PM EDT

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PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper was back in the Nationals lineup Monday, having passed multiple concussion tests administered to him over the previous 24 hours following his collision with Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich.

“He’s fine,” manager Matt Williams said. “No issues from yesterday. And he didn’t have any issues last night. He’s good to go. He’s ready and anxious to get back out there.”

Harper had been removed from Sunday’s game in Miami after his first-inning collision with Dietrich as he rounded second on Jayson Werth’s grounder to short. Though he didn’t appear to hit his head on the play, Harper reported some dizziness to Nationals head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz, who decided to pull him from the game.

Harper passed a concussion test during the game, though, and again passed tests administered Sunday night after the club arrived in Philadelphia and again Monday afternoon after he went through some early conditioning drills. The club planned still planned to monitor him closely during pregame drills.

“If he reports anything after batting practice, once he gets hot and going, [we’ll adjust],” Williams said. “He’s done all his pregame work, all his routines in the cage, without any issues. Done some weight work, too, to make sure that increase in heart rate and blood pressure doesn’t get to him. And nothing so far. All indications are that he’s good.”

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman, meanwhile, remained out of the lineup for the sixth straight game, his strained oblique muscle still not healed enough to allow him to swing a bat.

Zimmerman has begun exercises on his abdominal muscles, Williams said, but has not advanced to the oblique, which still hurts when he rotates and coughs.

With only three weeks remaining in the season, Zimmerman could be running out of time to play again in 2015, but the Nationals aren’t ready to make that determination yet.

“I know he’s trying everything he can to get back and get in the lineup for us,” Williams said. “We just don’t know. You have an injury like that, you know oblique injuries are difficult. And the nature of that oblique is to either start the swing or stop the swing, depending on what side it’s an issue. If he starts feeling better the next few days, we can start getting him some reps and getting him some swings and seeing where he’s at and adjust from there. At this point, we just don’t know until he gets back on the horse and starts swinging again.”

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 14, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    I’m sure Ryan Zimmerman is anxious to get back on the field, but at this point they shoud shut him down, let him heal properly and fully, get some rest, and then begin a more-or-less normal off-season workout routine.

    • Muddy Ruel - Sep 15, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      I hope that “normal off-season workout routine” is better than those of the last two years when seemly condition-related injuries in subsequent seasons have robbed him of playing time, the team of his services, and us of the enjoyment watching him play.

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