Bryce Harper will use PlayStation 4 to help rehab from thumb injury

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 24: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after losing to the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park on April 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The San Diego Padres won, 4-3, in twelve innings. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It's often said that today's youth spend entirely too much time playing video games rather than staying active by running around outside and playing sports. For rehabbing Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, video gaming could actually prove therapeutic as he recovers from a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb that required surgery in April.

This is not a joke. According to a report from MASN's Dan Kolko, Harper really is going to use his Playstation 4 to help him work through range-of-motion exercises, which are an important part of his rehab.

Here's more from the Washington Post: 

“He says he’s not getting caught up in timetables,” MASN’s Dan Kolko reported during Thursday’s win over the Phillies. “He said, ‘I’m not going to rush back, I’m not going to do anything stupid.’ He’s more just focused on progressing day to day. He’s still not able to catch balls because of that left thumb, still not able to hit, just kind of going through range-of-motion exercises and he’s going to start using some PlayStation to work that thumb back into gear as he tries to make progress.”

Obviously, Harper is taking this very seriously.

You know there will be people who immediately say this doesn't send a good message to the young kids we're encouraging to leave the video games behind to get active. Nationals fans, though, are probably a lot more comfortable knowing Harper will be playing video games in his down time instead of playing football in the outfield with his thumb wrapped, yet vulnerable.

And, let's just be honest here, a day of good video gaming really can cure anything. It helped many of us get through those colds and bouts with the flu that kept us home from school. In some cases, it helped alleviate the tummy ache just in time for a good lunch. Unfortunately, it usually came back shortly after dinner, but that's only because we had to stop the video gaming to do make up homework. 

In all seriousness, Harper has a legitimate reason for using video gaming during part of his rehab, and that's pretty darn cool. Just don't picture him sitting there all day playing Call of Duty or whatever his game of choice might be though. Obviously, there are other things he'll need to do as well to get back on the field, and he'll be attacking those just as hard. 

At this point, there's no timetable for Harper's return, so maybe the video gaming will actually help speed up the process. Many players will be watching to see in case they need to add more video game play to their rehab and workout routines. Many non-players will be watching, too, just so they can point out to their bosses, significant others and/or parents how video gaming can be a cure-all for everything. 

It won't work, of course, but it won't stop us them from trying! 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!