Harper healthy and ready to go for Nationals

Washington outfielder Bryce Harper is back and he wants all Nationals fans to know one thing -- he's ready to rock and roll.

Harper met the media in Florida on Wednesday and said the troublesome left knee that put him on the bench last season is just fine and it is time for a new season. He had successful offseason surgery on that knee and is looking forward to 2014.

"I'm where I need to be," Harper said in The Washington Post. "There's nothing wrong with (my knee). I'm as solid as can be. I'm stronger than I've ever been. I feel unbelievable right now, so I'm very excited."

And the Nationals probably are excited also. They need Harper to be at his best if they want to have a real shot at the post-season. He's just in his third year but the Nationals need Harper to grow into more of a run-producing machine in 2014 and the years after that.

Harper finished with 20 homers and just 58 RBI last year. He played in only 118 games, slowed after his well-known collision with the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium last May.

The Nationals had problems on offense all season last year, and those problems were much worse when Harper wasn't in the lineup.

The 21-year old Harper came in at 220 pounds and looked very strong. Also, the Nationals understand that he's still very young and learning -- and they'll be happy to go along for the ride.

"He's going to make mistakes as he learns," Nationals manager Matt Williams said in The Washington Post. "We support that. We've got his back if something goes haywire."

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