Phillies’ Star Bryce Harper Hopes to Be Back By MLB All-Star Break

Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals in 2018
Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals in 2018. Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9894264b)

The Philadelphia Phillies’ star slugger Bryce Harper is currently recovering from a Tommy John surgery and won’t be with his team to start the 2023 MLB season. However, Harper is optimistic that he can recover fast enough to be back by the All-Star break.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Harper admitted that things could change along the way but said that the current plan is to be back on the field in July. 

“Things can change either way,” Harper said. “I could be after, I could be before. But as of right now, that’s the date we kind of solidified. We’re not going to rush. We’re going to be smart about it.”

Harper was diagnosed with a UCL tear in his right elbow in May and hasn’t played in the right field since then. He exclusively served as the Phillies designated hitter and finished the regular season with a .286 batting average, 18 home runs, and 65 RBIs. He still made a big contribution to Philadelphia’s World Series run and was named National League Championship Series MVP in the process.

After the season ended, Harper underwent Tommy John surgery to repair the damage in his elbow. While the recovery period for pitchers is anywhere from 12 to 18 months after the procedure, Harper will be able to return a lot faster because he doesn’t need to throw the ball as much. Still, even when he’s back, he will likely continue to serve in the DH role for a while.