Phillies superstar Bryce Harper has had a tough start to the 2022 season, battling injuries that have limited him to a DH role for much of the year.
His most concerning injury came recently when Harper was hit in the thumb by a 97mph Blake Snell fastball:
That play wound up resulting in essentially the worst possible news for Harper and the Phillies, as he suffered a fractured thumb leading to an “indefinite absence.”
On Tuesday, Harper provided some semblance of good news, however. Even after a major surgery inserted three pins into Harper’s thumb, he announced that he intends to return this season.
Despite the seemingly positive development, there’s still no timetable for him to join the team again:
“I don’t want to give anybody a timetable because I don’t know,” Harper said before the Phillies played Washington on Tuesday night. “If I knew a specific date that I’d be back, I’d tell you. I just don’t think it’s fair to anybody. I’ll be back when I’m ready to go.”
The Phillies desperately need Harper’s help, facing an 8-game deficit in the NL East while fighting for a Wild Card spot with the Cardinals, Giants, and Padres among other teams.
Even if the team has fallen out of the race, Harper says he’ll come back and play regardless:
“I don’t want to hope or think about anything,” Harper said. “I just want to go day by day and be back when I can, whenever I feel healthy, whenever that is to help this team win. Granted, if we’re out of it, I’m going to come back and play no matter what, just so I know that I can go out there and play the game. I don’t want that to be my last day playing this year.”
It’s never good for a league to lose one of its premier players, and Harper’s injury seemed particularly bad for a hitter. But if he’s to be believed, at least it hopefully won’t cost him the entire season.