- (Photo: Reuters)
Baseball sensation Bryce Harper was left bloody after Monday night's Los Angeles Dodgers game against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning due to a collision with the right field fence.
The 20-year-old phenom outfielder received 11 stitches under his chin after tracing a flyball straight into the fences by Dodgers catcher Mark Ellis.
Harper walked off the field under his own power despite pleas to his manager and trainers to let him stay in the game as blood dripped down from his chin. Doctors said he did not suffer a concussion, and x-rays for a possible jammed left shoulder were negative. However, he did suffer a bruised neck and knee.
Despite these injuries, Washington manager Davey Johnson believes Harper will only miss two to three games.
"I thought he was going to try to brace himself or do something," teammate and Nationals centerfielder Denard Span said to reporters after the game. "As the ball kept going, I just was like, 'Is he going to stop?' And he just kept going."
"It just looked weird, like it caught him by surprise the ball was hit to him," he continued. "The way he ran into the wall, he definitely had no idea where he was. As soon as he ran into it, it's like his body locked up. I've never seen anybody run into the wall like that."
Upon hitting the wall, the young outfielder's hat flew off of his head and he crumpled to the ground and rolled over as Span completed the play and then ran over to him. "I don't think he realized he was on the ground. I think once it set in that he was on the ground, he was okay. And he just kept asking me, 'Is it bad? Is it bad?' I'm like, 'You're bleeding a little bit.'"
Harper's manager approached the situation with a little humor.
"He's not worried about the wall or anything. He should know it's on the warning track and back off, but that's not his nature. I don't want to change that. I feel sorry for the wall if he keeps running into them," he told The Washington Post.
Harper tweeted just a few hours ago, "I will keep playing this game hard for the rest of my life even if it kills me! Ill never stop! #RespectTheGame"
On April 30, Harper suffered a collision in Atlanta against the Braves when he jumped up to rob a homerun and bruised his left side.
During his rookie campaign last season he also ran into the Dodgers fence then. In just his second game of his career he made a highlight reel catch but hurt his back running into the wall.