Bryce Harper’s First Professional Baseball Injury

Harper’s First Professional Injury

The Washington National’s #1 overall draft pick, 18-year old outfielder Bryce Harper, suffered an ankle sprain during on March 21, 2011 during an Minor League intrasquad game in Viera, Fl. Harper was running to first base when the sprain to his left ankle occurred and he required a cart to be removed from the field and transported to the adjacent athletic training facility for evaluation.

Why This is News

Get used to a lot of “first time” stories on this youngster. Although the Nationals don’t have an official “Baby Book” on their newest, “bestest” rookie, news of Harper travels faster than real baby pictures around the water cooler at work. He was an astoundingly spectacular high school and Arizona league baseball player. Everyone wants to know first whether his talent will translate to major league ball, and the sooner the better.

His Planned Temporary Minor League Interlude

Harper was sent down to the minor league camp last week. Hope were high that he’d actually be returned to DC and make the starting roster on Opening Day. However, as pointed out by, his inclusion on the Big Team would be a “long shot,” due – of course – to money and politics. The sooner Harper is brought up to the majors, the sooner he’ll be eligible for arbitration. However, at the time of his transfer, his timeframe for the Bigs was thought to be “as early as May or June.”

This sprain may change everything.

What this Injury Means

As explained by Jeff Stotts of The New York Times special, “Bats,” a sprain involves trauma to a ligament. Ligaments connect bone-to-bone and therefore, provide joint stability. Harper’s ankle sprain was originally described as unknown, but subsequent medical evaluation rates its severity now as “medium,” and treatment as “day to day,” meaning any plans for a move up are on hold. He’ll be treated with ice and stretching exercises – the usual treatment for such an injury – however, his injuries designation as “medium” means that its severity is somewhere in between simple microtears to the tissue and the uglier complete tear to the macro tissue.

It remains to be seen exactly what degree of injury Harper sustained and how quickly he can rehab. But as usual, every move will be watched and reported.


Susan Abe was born in Washington, DC and can’t help but keep a fond eye out for the Nationals.


Other Published Baseball Pieces Available:

Fan reaction: Bryce Harper’s first Major League hit

Fan’s view: Really, the New York Yankees don’t have a pitching rotation yet?

Yankees fan: The secret to Mo’s cutter

Fan reaction: Yankees pitcher Mitre shut down again after reports of vague symptoms

Yanks fan: Yankees pitcher Mitre has no true grit