PHILADELPHIA ( Associated Press) — Bryce Harper has three nails in the thumb of his left hand, which is in a cast. But he also firmly believes he will return from injury this season, aiming to lead the Phillies in what will be his first playoff appearance in 11 years.
“I’ll be back,” said Harper.
The Philadelphia slugger said a return would happen “sometime” this season, but declined to give a date when he would return after recovering from a broken thumb.
Harper was injured last month when he collided with San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell’s 156 mph pitch. The 2021 NL MVP will have to stay with the stud for three weeks. He cannot throw the ball.
The 29-year-old Harper has a batting average of .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .985 OPS.
“I don’t want to give the schedule to anybody, because I don’t know,” Harper admitted ahead of Tuesday’s game between Philadelphia and Washington. “If I had a specific date for my return, I would have said this. I don’t think it’s fair to anyone. I’ll be back when I’m ready.”
Harper slowed his swing when the high, inside pitch went toward his shoulder and ended up hitting the outside of his left arm during the fourth inning of the game. He collapsed in obvious pain.
Kneeling, he held her hand for several minutes.
Philadelphia is 4-2 without Harper and a game behind in Tuesday’s activity in the hunt for the final wild-card spot in the NL.
The all-star outfielder, who has been a designated hitter for most of the season, said he suffered “a general illness” in the days following the surgery but felt better on Monday.
“I don’t want to create hope or think about anything,” Harper said. “I want to go day in and day out when I can feel healthy, when it comes time to help the team win. It’s a truth: If we stay here, I’ll come back and play, no matter what. Anyway, I just want to know if I can go out and play. I don’t want it to be my last day of play this season.”