The Washington Nationals’ season is in peril without Bryce Harper

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This slide shelved Harper.

According to ESPN’s Keith Law, Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper will undergo the knife Tuesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

The 21-year-old Harper, who suffered the wound in Friday’s 11-1 victory over the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park, is expected to be shelved until the All-Star break.

With Harper batting .289 and only recording one homer and 9 RBI over 22 contests, Washington’s been a middling squad that currently sits four games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Missing the first overall selection in 2010, the Nationals (14-12) are in peril and fielding a drastically lesser team.

Despite underperforming this spring, Harper was on the cusp of reemerging as a force at the plate.

Lacking Harper for an extended period of time, it’s hard to envision that Washington won’t struggle deep into the summer months.

A five-tool player and two-time All-Star, Harper hit .274 with 20 dingers and 58 RBI in 2013.

Regrettably, Harper violently collided with the outfield wall at Chavez Ravine on May 13 and was subsequently plagued by lingering shoulder and knee ailments.

Hence, it’s virtually impossible to fairly judge or analyze the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year’s sophomore showing.

Prior to the fiasco in Tinseltown, Harper had a legitimate opportunity to overtake flamethrower Vida Blue as the youngest MVP in MLB history.

Blue’s record was largely secured thanks to the indecision and procrastination of general manager Mike Rizzo.

Following weeks of consideration, Rizzo finally decided to place Harper on the 15-day disabled list and the “Sin City” native eventually missed more than a month on the diamond.

Harper, who will reportedly seek a 12-year contract extension at the conclusion of the 2015 campaign, ultimately had surgery in October to debride and fix the bursa in his left knee.

To even be considered for such an exorbitant raise, Harper must return with a vengeance and utterly dominate America’s pastime.

If the brilliant youngster is unable to illuminate “the District,” Bryce Harper can forget about soliciting such a long-term pact from the Nationals.

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