by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Bryce Harper’s absence from the Nats’ lineup has cast a tremendous shadow over the team’s offensive production, but his return may be imminent after piecing together comments from Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson on the slugger’s injury status.

After missing twenty games with bursitis in his left knee, the result of running into an outfield wall, Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Wednesday Harper would be “doing some baseball activities in the next day or so.”

“Here’s a guy that hasn’t gotten at-bats in the last couple weeks, so he’s going to have to see some live pitching to get his stroke back, and to fully prepare himself to rejoin us,” Rizzo said.

While he wouldn’t place a timetable on Harper’s return, comments from Johnson earlier in the day gave both an idea of when fans can expect him back in the Nats’ lineup, and suggested he’s never stopped “doing baseball activities” since he last played on May 26.

Davey was initially asked if Harper will return to play before July 1st, twelve days from now.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him,” Davey told the Junkies. “I was reading in the newspaper he’s in a wheelchair and he’s got an iron cast on his leg so I think he’s going to be fine.”

“I think our doctors are optimistic,” he continued. “I think he’s going to be doing baseball activities – if I know Bryce he’s been doing baseball activities all this time.”

“What’s he doing, hitting off a tee or something?” EB of the Junkies asked.

“Oh I’m sure he’s doing all of that. You can’t tell me he’s not,” Davey responded.

“So is that a yes or a no on July 1st?” Jason Bishop followed up.

“Oh I think he can probably be back probably within a week,” Johnson said.

“I know he’s been hitting,” he added. “They can’t tell me he hasn’t. I mean somewhere, knowing Bryce, he’s probably been hitting every day while he’s been out.”

If you’re still skeptical, you can listen to their two responses sandwiched together below.

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