Philadelphia Phillies all-star Bryce Harper will MISS the start of the new MLB season after the outfielder underwent Tommy John surgery
Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday and would not return until the All-Star break, the team said.
The Phillies said Harper may be able to pitch well enough to play right field by the end of the regular season.
Harper needed the surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. The injury prevented him from playing in right field for most of last season, making 90 of his 99 regular season appearances as the designated hitter.
The Phillies will start next season without the most important player on their roster
In the postseason, Harper hit .349 with six home runs and 13 RBIs, but fell to the Houston Astros
The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who routinely informs players of two options when making a repair. He will either do a full ligament reconstruction (Tommy John) or a lesser procedure.
When Angels star Shohei Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018, he was able to return as a designated hitter seven months later, but did not pitch at all during the 2019 season.
The 30-year-old Harper was unable to throw the ball after mid-April last season. He hurt his elbow on April 11 while making a throw to home plate in a game against the New York Mets and soon after converted to the DH role when an MRI showed strain in the muscles and tendons where the elbow and forearm meet .
Harper had missed a lot of time last season rehabilitating a broken thumb
Harper also missed two months with a broken left thumb.
Despite the injuries, Harper hit .286 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs for the Phillies, who lost in six games to the Houston Astros in the World Series. In 17 postseason games, he hit .349 with six home runs and 13 RBIs.
The two-time National League MVP and seven-time All-Star has 285 home runs, 817 RBIs and a .280 batting average in 1,382 career games with the Washington Nationals (2012-2018) and Phillies (2019-22).