Nationals Bryce Harper Out Until July with Torn Thumb Ligament

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-04_4909c46355.jpgGary Bogdon/MLB Photos via Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- The Washington Nationals quest to get back to the postseason took a big hit on Monday: ESPN's Keith Law is reporting that outfielder Bryce Harper will be out until at least early July with a torn ligament in his left thumb. Harper will undergo surgery to repair the ulnar callateral ligament on Tuesday.

The injury occurred when he slid head-first into third base during the team's win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

This is a tough blow for the Nationals as well: the team is already without catcher Wilson Ramos, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, and starting pitcher Doug Fister.

The 21-year-old Harper came into this season with great expectations in his third big league season. He missed 44 games last season with a knee injury.

So far this season, Harper was off to a tough start. While he hit .289 in 22 games, he hit just one home run and drove in nine runs.

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