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Harper slated to start rehab stint on Tuesday

Nats star to play for Class A Potomac in first action since going on DL on June 2

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will play at Class A Advanced Potomac on Tuesday in his first game since landing on the disabled list with bursitis in his left knee.

General manager Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post on Monday night that Harper will play on Tuesday despite the 20-year-old's previous concerns that the date seemed "kind of early."

"I'm thinking Wednesday or Thursday maybe," Harper said on Saturday. "I'm not sure. We'll see how I feel. If I feel good, then I'll go play. If I feel something isn't right, then I'm not going to go play."

Harper took batting practice before Sunday's game against the Rockies. After the game, manager Davey Johnson said Harper would hit again on Monday and Tuesday, then play in a rehab game later in the week.

However, Johnson also said that the schedule could change after Harper's workout on Monday.

"It's just on how he feels," Johnson said. "He wants to come back and be 100 percent and help the club. Wants to come early, but the thing is, we don't want him to start playing and then it puffs up and then he has to shut it down. He swung the bat good [Sunday] in BP and looked good."

The Nationals are eagerly awaiting the return of Harper, who injured his knee on May 13 in Los Angeles and aggravated the injury on May 26 after a pair of headfirst slides. He's still tied for the team lead in home runs (12) and leads in batting average (.287) and on-base percentage (.386) despite being on the disabled list since June 2.

Harper said on Saturday that he would like to play six or seven rehab games before returning to the Nationals' lineup. Johnson disagreed.

"Knowing Harp," Johnson said, "I don't think he's going to need much."

Potomac's current homestand ends on Thursday.

Tom Schad is an associate reporter for
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