Following a report that a shoulder injury has hampered Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, the reigning NL MVP reportedly denied any issues in a closed-door meeting with management Tuesday.’s Tom Verducci wrote Tuesday that Harper is struggling through shoulder and neck ailments on the heels of missing a few games in August due to a neck injury.

Per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Harper told general manager Mike Rizzo he did not have a shoulder injury, and trainer Paul Lessard confirmed he had not treated the 23-year-old superstar for any such problems.

Manager Dusty Baker commented on the situation as well and expressed confusion regarding the source of Verducci’s information: “Bryce said it didn’t come from him. Nobody really knows where it comes from because it’s not on the injury report. The trainer said no.”

After hitting .330 and raking 42 home runs to go along with 99 RBI last season, Harper is in the midst of a down year.

He entered play Thursday hitting just .240 with 24 homers and 82 RBI, although he does lead the NL with 106 walks.

Despite Harper failing to live up to expectations, the Nats hold a healthy nine-game lead over the New York Mets in the NL East, and they may be the team to beat in the National League aside from the Chicago Cubs.

Regardless of Harper’s health, Washington will likely need more from him as it makes a push for the World Series.

Harper’s high walk total suggests the opposition still respects him, though, and his mere presence makes life easier for other offensive stars such as Wilson Ramos, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner to produce at the plate.


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