Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper will undergo thumb surgery tomorrow and miss at least two months, according to Keith Law of ESPN.com. Harper has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb that will be repaired tomorrow, causing his absence from the Nationals' lineup until early July at the earliest.
Harper, 21, injured his thumb while sliding into third base on Friday night against the Padres, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend. Concerns within the Nationals' organization grew on Monday when the possibility of an extended absence first arose, and the team will now be without their slugger for a significant chunk of the season's first half.
Harper joins Doug Fister, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos on a growing list of Nationals who have suffered significant injuries so far this season. Fister has not pitched yet this season due to lat strain, Zimmerman will be out until late May with a thumb injury, and Ramos will be sidelined until early June after undergoing hand surgery. After being picked by many as a favorite in the NL East and National League, the Nats have opened up with a 14-12 record and will spend the next few weeks without three of their key offensive pieces.
In 22 games so far this season, Harper is hitting .289 with 1 HR and 9 RBI. In his absence, the Nationals will likely turn to Nate McLouth as the starter in left field, with Tyler Moore and Steven Souza Jr. serving as the backups.