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As Harper rests, Nats hope he'll return vs. Braves

BALTIMORE -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson is hoping that outfielder Bryce Harper can play during the three-game series against the Braves starting Friday in Atlanta.

"I don't have a lot of high hopes, but I'm hopeful," Johnson said.

Harper has missed the last the three games because of bursitis in his left knee, which stemmed from the collision he had with the right-field wall in Los Angles on May 13. On Sunday against the Phillies, Harper's knee got worse while running the bases and fouling a ball off the knee. Harper has tried to hit in the cage recently, but the Nationals just want him to rest.

"Well, we're just trying to let some of the swelling go down and some of the inflammation. And however long that takes is how long it takes," Johnson said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Andrew Simon is a reporter for
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