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Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper is preparing for a return from the disabled list around July 1.
In April, Harper injured his left thumb by diving head first into a base while trying to extend a double into a triple. He tore an ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb.
Over the next couple of days, Harper will be following a strict rehab plan and playing at Class A Potomac. He will get days off when needed so his thumb heals correctly. Nationals manager Matt Williams said Harper’s rehab program is a good one for him to follow.
“We’re all itching for him to get back, and he’s itching to get back, too," Williams said, reports the Washington Post. "I just want him to go play and get his timing, feel good about it and make sure he doesn’t push it so much that he does something detrimental to his progress."
The Nationals are expecting Harper to be ready to go once his rehab is complete. They do not want to rush him back if he is not 100 percent healthy, but at the same time, they do need him in the lineup as soon as possible to contend in the National League East.
Harper has not played much this season. He is batting .289 with one home run and nine RBIs in just 22 games this season, notes the Associated Press.