Bryce Harper left the Nationals’ game against the Giants with a knee injury Saturday night. He will get an MRI Sunday.

In a Saturday night game against the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals’ strong season suffered a swift gut punch, as superstar right fielder Bryce Harper slipped on a wet base, causing his leg to buckle and sending him to the ground.

Harper was in severe and obvious pain, sending baseball fans into a frenzy, many believing the injury was a torn ACL. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem that way for now. The Nats are calling it a hyperextended knee, but since an MRI has yet to be performed, even they can’t be sure of the extent of the damage. The exam will take place Sunday morning, and the results should be released shortly after.

Harper was walking around without a limp after the game, which is definitely a good sign, but ACL injuries are tricky in that sometimes they can go almost completely unnoticed. For now, the best thing to do is like Nats manager Dusty Baker said: pray.

The Nats currently hold a 14-game lead in the National League East and have the third best record in baseball overall, so even if they lose Harper for the rest of the regular season, it’s not likely they fall to the bottom of the rankings. The question becomes what happens if Harper misses playoff time.

Losing a player who could be the MVP this season would severely dampen the team’s title hopes. The Nats have had their share of injuries this season and they’ve fought to overcome them, but I’m not sure any amount of fight can will them past the Los Angeles Dodgers or Houston Astros without Bryce Harper.

A lot has been made of Harper’s impending free agency and whether he’ll stay with the Nats, but a more pressing issue has emerged. A long-term injury benefits no one, so the only thing to do right now is hope for the best.

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