MLB: Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper to have surgery on his right elbow

MLB: Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper to have surgery on his right elbow
Written by nismiste
MLB: Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper to have surgery on his right elbow

PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper will have surgery next week to repair the torn ulnar lateral ligament in his right elbow that forced the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder to play a designated hitter for much of last season.

The operation should be done on November 23, and the deadline for a full recovery will be known after that, according to Phillies president Dave Dombrowski.

“We won’t have any guesses until we actually look at his elbow,” Dombrowski said, referring to the doctor who will perform the surgery.

“Then we will have something in anticipation of the operation and what will happen next. I think it slows him down for this season. We will learn more next week,” he added.

Harper suffered a minor tear in April and most recently patrolled right field at a game in Miami on April 16. The 30-year-old left-handed hitter received a platelet-rich plasma injection into his right elbow in May and was placed in the designated striking position.

This week, Harper, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, concluded that the tear did not heal on its own, thus complicating surgery. She met Neal ElAttrache.

“We always knew it was a possibility. It’s something we’ve known for months,” Dombrowski said.

An elbow injury didn’t stop Harper from shining on offense and leading the Phillies to their first World Series appearance since 2009. The Phillies lost to the Houston Astros in six games.

In late June, Harper broke his thumb after being hit by a shot and was on the field for two months. Still, he finished the season with .286 batting averages, 18 home runs and 65 RBIs.

He was named Most Valuable Player in the National League Championship Series and finished the playoffs with a total of six homers.

Harper left the Washington Nationals and signed a 13-year, $330 million free agent deal with the Phillies in 2019.

A seven-time all-star, Harper was named the team’s most valuable player while playing for the National Champions in 2015. He made 285 home runs in his career.

Dombrowski said that Harper’s availability for the opening and the early stages of the next campaign may not affect his out-of-season decisions. Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and even receiver JT Realmuto are available as designated hitters.

“You never want to lose Bryce, really don’t,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said on Wednesday.

“While we will miss him and look forward to returning, this will give someone else an opportunity.”

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