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According to the Washington Post‘s Jorge Castillo, Harper hurt his knee when he lunged for first base trying to beat out a ground ball.
Todd Dybas of the Washington Times relayed a screenshot of Harper not being able to put any weight on his injured leg:
Todd Dybas @Todd_Dybas
This is terrible looking. https://t.co/raInSEyijX
Any significant injury to Harper could be devastating to the Nationals lineup, even with plenty of other talented players on the roster. With Adam Eaton already out for the year with a torn ACL, the World Series contenders are getting thin in the outfield.
In reality, losing a player of Harper’s ability would be damaging for any team.
The 24-year-old is as fearsome a hitter as anyone in the sport, reaching the All-Star Game in four of his first five seasons.
He took home the 2015 Most Valuable Player award after leading the league in home runs, runs and on-base plus slugging. He batted .330 that season with a career-best 42 home runs.
After a down year by his standards in 2016, he is once again among the league’s top hitters in 2017, batting .326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI.
This latest injury could put a damper on the impressive season and create trouble for the Nationals. Adam Lind could be the first replacement option after his strong start to the year, although the entire roster will have to contribute to keep the offense afloat as long as Harper is unavailable.