Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper suffered a wrist injury Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. X-rays on his wrist were negative, according to Byron Kerr of MASNsports.com. 

It’s unclear when he’ll return to the field. 

Continue for updates.

Latest on Harper’s Timeline for Recovery 

Monday, Sept. 26

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said the swelling in Harper’s wrist has gone down, adding he might be able to play later this week, per Kerr.

Harper Suffers Wrist Injury During Slide

Sunday, Sept. 25

Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com reported Harper was holding his left wrist after sliding awkwardly into third base, and Chris Heisey replaced Harper in right field. 

Harper Continues to Battle Injuries in ’16

This is not the first health concern for Harper in 2016. He already dealt with neck stiffness earlier in the season that forced him to miss time.

Harper isn’t known for his durability and appeared in more than 139 contests in a season for the first time in his career when he played 153 last year. However, he is widely considered one of the best players in MLB and is the anchor in the middle of the Nationals lineup. Thus far, he’s hitting .244 with 24 home runs and 85 RBI in 2016.

Harper proved his overall dominance in 2015 with a National League MVP award behind video game-type numbers. The four-time All-Star and 2012 National League Rookie of the Year posted a .330 batting average, 42 home runs, 99 RBI, 38 doubles, 124 walks and a 1.109 OPS last year.

Washington is on the short list of teams with realistic World Series championship hopes this season, and Harper’s presence is a major reason why. If it plans on competing against teams such as the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL pennant, it needs Harper back and healthy.

The Nationals will likely turn toward a combination of Clint Robinson and Heisey until their superstar returns.

Robinson is versatile enough to play either corner outfield spot and brought some power to the Washington lineup last year with 10 home runs. Heisey has hit as many as 18 home runs in a season (2011 with the Cincinnati Reds) and at least provides another potentially powerful option while Harper recovers.

However, neither is of Harper’s caliber, and Washington will be far more dangerous in the postseason push with the defending MVP healthy again.

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