MLB: Phillies’ Bryce Harper eyes ‘September-ish’ for return

Philadelphia Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper was hitting off a practice tee at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday.

While that’s likely seen as progress since having three pins removed from his fractured left thumb on Monday, Harper insists there’s more time needed in his recovery. He’s also been dealing with a torn ligament in his right elbow.

“I don’t like putting timelines on anything, because I don’t know how I’m going to react,” Harper said. “I don’t know how my body’s going to react or how my thumb is going to react. We’re still on the same timeline of September-ish. Come back when I’m ready and able to come back.”

Harper filled the designated hitter role since mid-April because of the elbow ailment until he was hit by a pitch from San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell on June 25, causing the broken thumb.

As for his elbow, well, Harper didn’t seem too concerned.

“That’s kind of on the back burner for me right now,” Harper said. “I just want to get back in the lineup, get my swing going and get ready so I can get back in the lineup. I’m not (concerned) about getting back to throwing as quickly as possible, because I really want it to heal so I don’t have to do anything in the offseason — go under the knife or anything like that.”

Harper, 29, won his second National League Most Valuable Player award last season, when he hit .309 with 42 doubles, 35 home runs and 84 RBIs.

Despite the elbow injury, he was off to a hot start in 2022, batting .318 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 64 games.

In his career with the Washington Nationals (2012-18) and Phillies, Harper is batting .281 with 282 homers and 800 RBIs in 1,347 games.

–Field Level Media

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