Bryce Harper’s recovery is “historical,” Phillies are eying up an early-May return
Everyone in Philadelphia knew that Bryce Harper was a freak athlete…but he may defy the odds of nearly 100 years of Tommy John surgeries.
In an article from Matt Gelb published this morning, it’s said that Bryce Harper is moving through Tommy John progression in a way that doctors have never seen before, and there’s a chance for a return in early May.
Bryce Harper, Phillies eying an early-May return
This is really happening. Harper is rocketing to one of the quickest returns from reconstructive elbow surgery ever. He has a doctor’s appointment scheduled at the beginning of May in Los Angeles when the Phillies are there for the back half of a six-game road trip.
“If we get clearance from the doctor, then we’ll see when he can start DHing,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said Thursday. “But it shouldn’t be too far after that.”
It’s possible Harper is in the lineup by the first weekend of May — or soon thereafter — once the Phillies return home from California. As long as the doctor clears him. The Phillies are operating, team sources said as if this is a plausible scenario.
Bryce Harper received Tommy John surgery on his right throwing elbow on November 23rd, just two and a half weeks after the Phillies fell in Game 6 of the World Series to the Houston Astros. Harper, who was the permanent DH due to his injury at the time, was only swinging, but since surgery, has begun to learn first base in an attempt to play a position with a little less distance throwing.
Harper won’t play the field right when he comes back. In fact, it seems like Harper in the DH spot could take place for a month or two. But Rob Thomson, team trainers, doctors, and most importantly Harper, are confident that Bryce can return to the field sometime this summer.
The final setback still remains sliding. Bryce Harper is a very aggressive runner on the bases, and any tweaking of the elbow diving back into a base or head-first sliding, or even feet-first, could re-rupture his elbow and have him out for an extended period of time once again. The Phillies go out west to end the month of April, then return to Citizens Bank Park on May 5th, which has been thrown out as a potential date.
Nobody wants to be out on the field more than Bryce right now. The Phillies, a struggling team at the moment, are missing their stars, and a Bryce Harper return sets this team up to have a powerhouse of a lineup. All signs point to Harper not even making a rehab assignment in the minors, as the Phillies believe live pitching in practice and tons of batting practice will be enough for Harper, a proven hitter in this league.