Somewhere in the thoughts that streamed into Bryce Harper’s head as he lay writhing on the warning track at Dodger Stadium on Monday was the question: How bad is this?
Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span was the first by Harper’s side after the 20-year-old crashed face-first into the scoreboard inside the right field wall and collapsed in a heap. As he instructed Harper to stay down and not try to get up, he knew.
“You could tell he didn’t know where he was at,” Span said. “He just kept asking me: ‘Is it bad? Is it bad?’”
Harper required 11 stitches in his chin area but he avoided a concussion, the team said. He was examined by Dodgers head physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache and X-rays done on his left shoulder and leg came back negative. Everything was sore Tuesday, though.
Harper was out of the lineup and felt nauseous, likening it to perhaps the feeling one gets after being in a car accident. Asked what hurt, he ticked off a list: both legs, left shoulder, ribs, wrist, chin. You name it. It wasn’t clear if he’d be able to return by Wednesday, but the Nationals won’t rush him.
“It just depends on how he’s feeling,” manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s awful stiff today. He hit that fence real hard with his head, so we’re going to be real closely watching that. They just want him to stay quiet [on Tuesday], not worry about anything.
“He took [an Impact concussion] test [Monday] night and [ElAttrache] is one of the best in the world. He said he didn’t have anything but I’m sure, being it’s Bryce Harper, they’re going to probably run some more tests today.”
As blood dripped down his neck and head trainer Lee Kuntz examined him Monday night, Harper tried to convince Johnson he could stay in the game. That wasn’t happening.