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Nats' Harper admits knee isn't improving

ATLANTA — Bryce Harper hopes to begin running and hitting next week, and come off the disabled list the first day he is eligible.

But he acknowledged Sunday that his injured left knee had not improved.

Harper was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday, retroactive to May 27, with bursitis in his left knee.

Harper said, "I feel all right," before adding "It's still swollen and crappy. I'm just trying to get treatment and see if the swelling will go down."

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Saturday the team would not have placed Harper on the disabled list if the outfielder was close to being ready to play.

Harper said he would have tried to play through the injury in a more critical stage of the season.

"If we're in September, October, I'm going to play," he said. "I wouldn't be sitting down right now. It's one of those things, you've got to be smart about what you do and just try to come in every day and get better."

He is eligible to come off the disabled list June 11, when the Nationals open a series at Colorado.

The knee has bothered Harper since he crashed into the wall May 13 against the Dodgers. He confirmed Sunday that he aggravated the injury with a head-first slide into third base against the Phillies on May 25.

"That's when it got very puffed up, and then it got bad," he said.

SIZEMORE STILL TRYING: Former Indians All-Star CF Grady Sizemore, who hasn't played since 2011 because of a series of injuries, has resumed baseball activities, the Boston Globe reported. Sizemore, 30, batted .281 and averaged 27 home runs and 29 stolen bases from 2005-08. He has had seven surgeries since 2009.

DODGERS: OF Yasiel Puig, one of the team's top prospects, was promoted from Double-A Chattanooga. The Cuban defector, 22, was batting .313 with a .383 on-base percentage and a .599 slugging percentage in 40 games. He'll help fill in with CF Matt Kemp on the disabled list and LF Carl Crawford hobbled by a strained left hamstring. … RHP Matt Magill was sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque after starting Sunday against the Rockies in place of LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was a late scratch with a bruised left foot.

MARINERS: 1B Justin Smoak went on the 15-day DL with an oblique strain on his right side, and minor-league INF Vinnie Catricala was designated for assignment to make room for RHP Jeremy Bonderman, who made his first major-league appearance since 2010 in a 10-0 loss to the Twins.

RANGERS: 3B Adrian Beltre was out of the lineup with a mild left hamstring strain. Manager Ron Washington said Beltre could return Tuesday night. … RHP Alexi Ogando, on the DL since May 15 with right biceps tendinitis, threw a bullpen session with no setbacks and is scheduled to start Wednesday.

RED SOX: CF Jacoby Ellsbury remained sidelined with tightness in his left groin, keeping him out of the lineup for the three-game series against the Yankees. Jackie Bradley Jr. started in Ellsbury's place again.

ROCKIES: Closer Rafael Betancourt went on the 15-day DL with a strained right groin.

TWINS: INF Chris Colabello was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.

WHITE SOX: CF Dewayne Wise went on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring sustained when he tried to score from second in a May 25 win against the Marlins.

Nats' Harper admits knee isn't improving 06/02/13 [Last modified: Sunday, June 2, 2013 9:51pm]
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