TIME Baseball

Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper Undergoes Thumb Surgery

MLB: San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper runs down first base after hitting a three-run triple in the third inning against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park USA Today Sports —Reuters

The Washington Nationals' 21-year-old left fielder will go under the knife to repair a torn ligament, an injury that occurred while sliding headfirst into third during a game last week and that is expected to sideline him for at least two months

Major League Baseball All-Star Bryce Harper will undergo surgery on his left thumb to treat a torn ulnar collateral ligament on Tuesday. The 21-year-old left fielder is expected to spend at least two months on the disabled list following the operation.

Harper injured his left hand after sliding headfirst into third during a game against the San Diego Padres in the nation’s capital on Friday.

Harper says he hopes to miss no more than 15 games because of the injury. In 2013, the left fielder missed two months of the season after slamming into Dodger Stadium’s outfield wall face-first.

“Guys slide in headfirst all the time,” Nationals manager Matt Williams told MLB.com after Friday’s game. “Just so happens that he got his thumb in an awkward position. You can’t question that. You can’t question the way the kid plays the game. He plays the game hard.”

On Sunday, Harper remained unapologetic about deciding to slide headfirst into third during his three-run triple.

“It’s part of baseball,” said Harper.

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