By Bryan Frantz

WASHINGTON — The Nationals have managed to not only stay relevant since Bryce Harper went down with a leg injury about a month ago, they have continued to thrive.

The team has continued to chase the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in baseball, and, Friday’s 7-0 disaster aside, have looked like one of the best teams in the sport. They’ll still likely finish short of the top record, as they trail the Dodgers by six games entering Saturday’s clash, but it’s been a good run.

Now, the Nationals are receiving some potentially good news regarding their star slugger.

“Harper is on the way,” Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports notes, per Dusty Baker.

Rosenthal notes Harper is running the bases and doing long toss, adding that live pitching and simulated games is the next step. While it’s a vague update as far as a timeline goes, it’s certainly encouraging that Harper is making progress.

Luckily for Washington, there’s little to play for right now. It holds a 3.5-game lead on the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second-best record in the National League, and while that’s by no means a safe lead with 15 games to go, there’s no reason to rush Harper back.

Playoff chase aside, the Nationals will be thrilled to see their best offensive player return, whenever that day comes.

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