Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper missed more than a month with left knee buristis earlier this season, and it's possible it is still preventing him from playing at full speed. If things don't improve in the coming weeks, offseason surgery could be an option according to Dan Kolko of MASN Sports.
"[Surgery] was talked about a while back," said manager Davey Johnson to Kolko. "That's definitely an option. ... I think it's going to be up to Bryce and Dr. Wiemi."
Harper, 20, has had trouble sliding and was unable to run out a ground out on Friday night. He has always played with a very high effort level -- perhaps too high considering he's injured himself running into the outfield wall on several occasions -- which is why being unable to run at full speed is especially noticeable.
"I think [the knee is] still an issue," added Johnson. "I think it's probably there. He can probably play with it, but if he head-first slides or dives in the outfield, it's probably going to flare up. But hopefully he'll get through the season."
Obviously the Nationals and Harper would prefer to avoid surgery if at all possible. Cutting into a major joint of a world-class athlete is never a good thing, especially at a young age.
In 97 games this season, Harper has hit .277/.376/.516 with 20 doubles and 19 home runs.