Bryce Harper underwent Tommy John surgery after the 2022 season concluded, reconstructing his right elbow in a procedure that was supposed to keep him off of the field for roughly 8 months. But if things go well in the examination that he has scheduled for Monday, his rehabilitation could be the quickest that we have ever seen in the MLB.
Bryce Harper Could Return Just 160 Days After Surgery
Bryce Harper could be back in the Phillies lineup as early as Tuesday, per @CSeidmanNBCS pic.twitter.com/NBQi1XLs8K
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 30, 2023
Tommy John surgery is commonly a surgery done on pitchers, who typically take longer to return to action, given the strain on the elbow that the position demands. The joint is obviously important for any athlete that is required to throw a ball, but recovery time can be quicker for position players.
But not 160 days quick.
That is how long it will have been between Harper going under the knife in November and potentially playing in his first game back this coming Tuesday. There have been quick and impressive recoveries before, but Harper is blowing them out of the water.
The player who held the previous distinction was Tony Womack, who returned to play for the St. Louis Cardinals after 182 days on the shelf. He broke Jay Buhner’s record of 207 days.
Bryce Harper could be in the @Phillies' lineup as soon as Tuesday, according to @CSeidmanNBCS pic.twitter.com/fbDd0F27I1
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 30, 2023
There is still one hurdle to jump over, but it looks like all systems will be a go for Bryce Harper. He has already impressed his coaches and doctors with how quickly he has recovered, and the process has been called “amazing” by the Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski:
“He’s absolutely amazing. He’s a great athlete. He works hard. He’s focused. He wants to get back. I mean, it’s amazing what he’s accomplished.”
It will be a timely return if it is to happen. The Phillies currently find themselves in 4th place in the mighty NL East, with a worse record than even the Marlins. Things aren’t going terribly, as the team is still floating around the .500 mark, but Philadelphia had high expectations entering the 2023 season after their run last year and their roster building in the off-season.
Their upcoming schedule looks a bit rough, too. 9 of their first 14 games of the month of May will be played on the road, and Harper’s first game back would be against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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