Harper cleared to begin strength work on knee

Harper cleared to begin strength work on knee

Harper cleared to begin strength work on knee

PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper saw Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, the team medical director, on Monday morning, and Harper was cleared to begin strengthening activities, which means he can walk and jog. The team is hoping Harper can soon progress toward running.

Harper will be evaluated regularly as the team tries to ramp up his activity. The swelling in his left knee, which was caused by too much activity, has gone down. Head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz said Harper should have been resting at some point.

"But he has improved and it's all good right now," Kuntz said. "The swelling is down and he was able to complete all the activities pain free. Now we are to the weight-building phase. We are going to try to notch his activity and keep progressing.

"We are adding bricks every day. We are trying to improve upon what he did yesterday and not lose any ground."

Kuntz didn't give a timetable as to when Harper will play in a big league game. Harper has been on the disabled list since June 1 because of left knee bursitis. He originally hurt the knee on May 13 after crashing into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium.

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.