Bryce Harper had surgery Tuesday to repair the torn ligament in his left thumb, letting the world know all was fine by tweeting a photo of himself post-operation giving a thumbs-up sign.
"On the road to recovery..Everything went great and I'll be back soon! Thank you to all the fans for the support!" Harper posted on his Twitter account, giving a thumbs-up sign with his right hand with his left arm in a sling.
Harper had the surgery at The Cleveland Clinic, with his torn ulnar collateral ligament repaired during the procedure. Recovery time is expected to be approximately two months, with Harper returning to the Nationals' lineup sometime around July 1.
Harper injured himself sliding headfirst into third base on a bases-loaded triple Friday night against the Padres. He jammed his left thumb into the base, then grabbed his hand and shook it after getting up to his feet. Harper remained in the game for another inning, fielding two balls in left field, then was removed once the thumb began to swell up.
At the time, the 21-year-old outfielder was upbeat, believing the injury wasn’t severe and that he could be back within a matter of days. Even after he landed on the disabled list Sunday, Harper was hopeful he’d be ready to return to the Nationals’ lineup after the minimum 15 days.
The injury, though, proved more severe than originally expected, similar to one suffered recently by Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Already without key regulars Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos due to hand injuries, the Nationals open a brief, two-game series Tuesday in Houston, needing to account for Harper's absence as well. Manager Matt Williams decided to use Jayson Werth (who dealt with a nagging groin injury earlier this month) as his designated hitter for the series opener, with Nate McLouth in right field and Kevin Frandsen in left field.
-- Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com
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