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Bryce Harper discusses availability for playoffs

Following his first on-field batting practice session since slipping on a wet first base Aug. 12, rehabbing Nationals star Bryce Harper talked to reporters Sunday as the NL Division Series, scheduled to start Oct. 6, inches closer.

When asked if he and his injured knee would be ready for the playoffs, Harper seemed optimistic.

“I hope so,” he said (via The Washington Post ). “That’s definitely in my head. That’s what I want to do. That’s where I want to be. But it takes time. Just trying to do the best I can to get out here and do the things I can to get back and get ready, and see where it’s at.”

Harper said he didn’t quite feel like himself in the cage, but hitting coach Rick Shu said he “looked really good.”

“It’s going to take some time to get back,” Harper said. “It’s definitely going to be a tough thing. If we play Chicago, I might be facing Jon Lester for my first at-bat in six weeks. That’s a tough task. It’s going to take some time. Hopefully, I can get back and get going a little sooner than later.”

Harper's return to the Washington lineup could make all the difference for the Nats in the postseason. Before Harper's knee injury, the team led the National League averaging 5.4 runs per game. Since then, the Nationals are 24th in MLB averaging 4.1 runs per game.


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