Washington Nationals' Harper undergoes thumb surgery

Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals on the ground after being hit by a pitch in the...

Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals on the ground after being hit by a pitch in the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park on April 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images/AFP)

THE SPORTS XCHANGE

, Last Updated: 6:42 PM ET

Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper had successful surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb that will keep him out until at least early July.

Harper, 21, suffered the injury during a headfirst slide into third on a bases-clearing triple in Friday's victory over San Diego. He stayed in the game for an inning before being replaced.

The Nationals placed Harper on the disabled list Sunday and backdated the move to Saturday.

Harper tweeted a picture of himself from a hospital bed after the surgery.

"On the road to recovery..Everything went great and I'll be back soon! Thank you to all the fans for the support!"

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton injured a thumb in similar fashion to Harper by sliding head-first into a base and is out six to eight weeks.

Harper was replaced in left field over the weekend by Kevin Frandsen, but Nate McLouth may take over.

Harper is batting .289 this year but has just one home run in 83 at-bats. He was limited to 118 games in 2013 because of hip, knee and side injuries.

 


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