WASHINGTON -- Yes, that was Bryce Harper, not a mirage, in the Washington Nationals clubhouse, ready to return from the disabled list. Pat ODonnell Jersey . Manager Davey Johnson wanted to be sure. "I went in there and said, Is that really you? Are you OK? Are you ready to go?" Johnson said. "He shook my hand and said Im ready. It seemed like I hadnt seen him in half a year. It seems that long." The 20-year-old sparkplug of a slugger was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Monday, following his recovery from a knee injury that stemmed from a collision with the Dodger Stadium fence. Harper missed 31 games with bursitis, diagnosed after he reinjured the left knee several times after he kept trying to play for two weeks following the mishap in Los Angeles on May 13. He pronounced himself fit after going 4 for 11 with a double, a triple and a home run during a four-game rehab assignment last week with Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. "A little swelling, but not much," Harper said. "Nothing to be cautious about. I feel good, and its to the point where I want to play." Harper said he will wear padding to protect the knee. He was in the starting lineup, batting third and playing left field for the homestand opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Nationals were 25-19 when Harper played, 16-21 when he didnt. That added up to a middling 41-40 mark at the halfway point for a consensus preseason pick to repeat as NL East champions. He was batting .287 with 12 homers and 23 RBIs when he went on the DL. "Not only his bat, but I think the energy he brings, he takes a lot of the focus and hes a competitor," Johnson said. "Just to have that 20-year-old energy running around 100 per cent, Im sure hes still probably going to run into the wall, Im sure hes going to dive headfirst. ... I dont want to put a damper on that. Thats who he is, and thats how he plays the game, and thats great." The return of Harper was the last thing the struggling Brewers needed. Milwaukee arrived in Washington on a five-game losing streak. "Well see after the series how bad of a break it is. ... What it does is it adds a guy who can drive the ball out of the ballpark," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He can hit any pitch, and you have to be really careful with how you pitch him." Harpers return puts Johnson closer to the lineup envisioned at the start of the year, except that Anthony Rendon has replaced the demoted Danny Espinosa at second base. All thats left is for catcher Wilson Ramos to return from a left hamstring injury. Ramos was scheduled to catch seven innings at Potomac on Monday and could return to the major league club as early as Thursday. Johnson moved Rendon from second to seventh in the batting order to create a left-right-left-right-left top of the order consisting of Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche. "Its all about matchups late in the ballgame that you want to create," Johnson said. NOTES: Johnson said LHP Ross Detwiler had a good bullpen session Monday and is on pace to start Wednesday as scheduled. Detwiler had stiffness in his lower back after his last start. ... The Nationals optioned RHP Erik Davis to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Harper. Jim Miller Jersey . Ireland was the last unbeaten side in the championship after France fell to Wales on Friday, and was favoured to end a three-match losing run to England with a side with more than twice as many caps, rampant momentum, and added incentive to celebrate Brian ODriscolls world record-tying 139th test cap. Harlon Hill Jersey .com) - James van Riemsdyk had two goals with one assist to help the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.MADRID - Deportivo La Corunas players have held a minutes silence for a fan who died in a street clash with Atletico Madrid supporters before their Spanish league match.Deportivos players stopped practice Monday morning and formed a ring on the centre circle of the practice field.The club says the players held a minute of silence as a sign of mourning and rejecttion of the violence that led to the death of a 43-year-old man it identified as Francisco Javier Romero Taboada. Taylor Gabriel Jersey . .The fatal fight has been condemned by both clubs and Spains sports authorities.The fight broke out Sunday morning near Atleticos Vicente Calderon Stadium when groups of men battled along the banks of the Manzanares River. ' ' '