By Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper is back to throwing and has begun working out on an anti-gravity treadmill, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told The Sports Junkies Wednesday morning.

It’s been three and a half weeks since Harper hyper-extended his left knee, suffering a bone bruise and calf strain while stretching for first base.

“We’re very optimistic that he’ll play in the postseason,” Rizzo said last week.

“He’s moving around. He’s starting to play long toss on the field,” Rizzo updated The Junkies on Wednesday. “He’s starting to do some AlterG treadmill work. So he’s moving around, he’s progressing. We’re being cautious and careful, but he’s moving in the right direction.”

The AlterG isn’t your run-of-the-mill treadmill; it incorporates NASA anti-gravity technology to reduce the strain which comes from normal running.

“Yeah,” Rizzo said when asked if Harper has begun jogging. “This AlterG, as they call it, is an anti-gravity treadmill where you can reduce a percentage of your weight on the treadmill.”

“So he’s starting to progress with that and, like I said last time, he’s moving around effortlessly,” he said. “No limp in his gait. We just haven’t pushed him to the point where he’s running yet or those type of things.

“But he was on the field playing long toss, which was a step in the right direction. He walked some stairs of the stadium the other day, which was a step in the right direction.”

“Looks like he’s doing what he needs to do to get back on the field with enough time to play some baseball games to get ready for postseason,” Rizzo added.

Burke & Herbert Bank Fan Question of the Week

Erick Fedde was put on the DL with a forearm strain, was shut down for the season. Could he have come back for the playoffs, and are you concerned about his long-term health? — Mike in Gaithersburg

“It doesn’t look like it’s a concern long term,” Rizzo said. “We feel that he could continue pitching after his stint on the disabled list. We just figured that he has had enough this season, and he’s gone from starter to reliever, back to starter. He’s logged some good innings in the big leagues.”

“I think his development has been improved this year by his experience in the major leagues, and he flashed the stuff that it takes to be a starter in the big leagues,” he said. “We just decided that he’s not going to make the postseason roster, so we decided to shut him down, because he’s had enough this season.”

“He’ll continue his rehab and then he’ll continue to prepare for spring training next season,” he added. “Which, he’ll be an important factor for us come the rotation decisions next year.”

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter


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