Harper likely out through Thursday, at least

Harper likely out through Thursday, at least

WASHINGTON -- After hinting Monday that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper could be the designated hitter in the second half of Washington's home-and-home matchup against the Orioles this week, manager Davey Johnson said Tuesday that his 20-year-old slugger likely will miss the entire Interleague matchup with bursitis in his left knee.

"It's still tender, still a little bit swollen," Johnson said of Harper's knee. "The swelling's down a little bit. I was probably being a little optimistic thinking he could DH over in Baltimore. We're probably not looking good for that."

Harper was left out of the lineup again Tuesday after missing Monday's game. He injured his knee when he ran into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13 and reinjured the same knee Sunday against the Phillies. He slid head-first into second and third base in the first inning, banging the knee on the ground.

While Harper will be out for a few more games, Johnson said this is not an injury that would land Harper on the disabled list.

"I think it's just when the inflammation gets out of there, the swelling gets out of there, he'll feel 100 percent better," Johnson said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Schad. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.