Bill Ladson

Rizzo denies report of Harper's shoulder injury

All-Star outfielder remains day to day with stiff neck

Rizzo denies report of Harper's shoulder injury

WASHINGTON -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo denied a published report from that outfielder Bryce Harper is dealing with a right shoulder injury.

Rizzo said Harper is dealing with a stiff neck, which has put him on the shelf since Sunday. According to Rizzo, Harper is getting treatments, such as cupping therapy and an active release technique. Rizzo said he has a low level of concern about Harper's injury. Harper is listed as day to day.

"I just asked Bryce Harper, the training staff and the medical staff. He has never had a right shoulder injury," Rizzo said. "He has a stiff neck that we have been treating -- yes with cupping, yes with ART heat. Harper and about 14 other players on the team [go through the same treatment] on a routine basis. Just like we always do."

Manager Dusty Baker said Harper is feeling better, but the skipper wasn't sure if the All-Star outfielder would be available to pinch-hit on Friday against the Braves. Harper was scheduled to see a chiropractor on Friday.

Harper's two-run homer to left

"[Head athletic trainer] Paul [Lessard] and our training staff are working on him every day and it's better than it was," Baker said. "I can't say more than that because the chiropractor is seeing him today. Hopefully, [the chiropractor] can relieve the spasm."

Not only is Harper dealing with a neck injury, he is in a slump. Since the All-Star break, Harper is 9-for-67 (.134) with one home run and five RBIs.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.