During tonight’s Phillies/Rangers matchup on ESPN, Bryce Harper and Phillies manager Rob Thomson shared some positive updates about Harper’s recovery from Tommy John surgery in November. (Hat tip to Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia.) Thomson said Harper is likely to hit on the field at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, prior to the Phils’ home opener against the Reds. Harper has already been doing his usual slate of batting cage work for roughly 10 days.
No update was given on Harper’s timeline, as the former MVP said he is “just trying to get my rehab going as best as possible,” and “just trying to take it each day, make sure I hit every checkpoint.”
“[I’ve] still got a minute to go. Just trying to be smart about it, understanding my good days are going to be good and some days I’ll just be sore and it’ll be a little tougher. But I feel good right now, just got to keep that going and keep doing the same stuff.”
Once Harper does his on-field work, Thomson laid out the gameplan of live batting practice and then progressing to minor league rehab games. While there’s certainly a lot to like about Harper’s progress, these next steps won’t be completed quickly, particularly since Harper both has to recover physically and fully ramp up for the season after missing all of Spring Training. The Phillies initially suggested that Harper would be back by roughly the All-Star break in a DH capacity, and he might return to right field later in the season if all was well with his throwing arm.
However, tonight’s update might be the latest hint that Harper could be activated from the injured list before that July target — for instance, the Phils only placed him on the 10-day version of the IL prior to the season, not the 60-day IL that would normally come with a longer-term injury. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski did suggest that a 60-day placement (which would be backdated to Harper’s initial placement on the 10-day IL on March 30) might still occur if Philadelphia needs to create a 40-man roster spot, but it would seem like the Phillies didn’t want to entirely rule out Harper’s return within the first 60 days of the regular season.
Man, as long as bringing him back on this timetable….does in NO way hinder his future. Harper has cemented himself as a Phillies guy….just want to keep him playing 145+ for the next decade….
The 0-3 Phils look to the next series….
Provided they all stay healthy, there is no way Philly isn’t going to the World Series this year.
They’re on pace for 0-162
Think it’s pretty clear they won’t stay healthy!
They might not even make it to the playoffs WITH Harper playing all season. Not saying they won’t make it, just that the NL is tough this year
Okay, you’re on the record. We’ll bring your statement up at the end of the season. (Chuckle)
Was it a funny statement? I think it was a dry joke and people who didn’t read the conditional (provided they all stay healhy) part of his statement might misread it as a bold claim. Harper is out close to 2 months at least. Hence, they have not ALL stayed healthy it’s no bold claim at all.
No joke. Bold prediction.
He needs a healthy season!
OMG we’re starting to wish guys back that aren’t expected back until June at least? After 4 days? Gonna be a long season for some of you. Get a grip. LOL
I’ve read the story and read through comments. I’m trying figure out who’s “wishing him back” early.
I think any fan wishes to get a player of Harper’s caliber back healthy from day 1. That doesn’t mean people are hoping they rush him back. But when a focal point of a lineup is missing of course people yearn for them returning.
The Phillies are having the worst opening series in MLB. The pitchers are throwing batting practice.
Falter was pretty good tonight —
0-12 against the rangers — without clubhouse leader, Hoskins they’ll come around.
Tigers say “hold my beer.”
Can he…um…uh…well we know he can hit enough already, so I guess my question’s been answered already.
The game is better with its biggest stars. Be cool to see him back sooner than expected.
On the positive note Nick C is starting off well. The middle looks good Turner and Stott, their hot. Hoskins may be that ill afforded injury though. They ran into the buzz saw named Texas Rangers, so while they have the same record as the worst in baseball the Tiger’s they will do better going forward. Lot of new things this year, and they’ll right the ship quick. There is no hope for Detroit though.
You’re right. The Tigers will be lucky of they only lose 100 games.
The Tigers can’t hit, can’t defend, no pen and poor fundamentals. Your tight. No hope. I anticipate 110 losses.
The Saber-toothed Superfife
You forgot to mention the owner, a financially oriented Ivy League CEO and a fan base that automatically drinks.the Kool Aid upon command and has already been sold and bought the idea that new management teams get an auto-free pass for at least a year….
Not to mention the Tigers’ INEPTNESS IN NOT HIRING THE SUPERFIFE!
Can he pitch?
Not on a short timeframe TJ recovery, LOL
Most overrated team in the game (Padres are right behind). They took advantages of ManFraud’s NBA style playoffs last year and got hot at the right time. That’s it.
What exactly does that mean? NBA-style playoffs?
They actually had the second best record in the national league after firing girardi last year. They are notorious for slow starts and finishes. They do have a very talented team, at least on paper.
Unfortunately, the games with Girardi counted too. Girardi didn’t take one at bat, toss one pitch, or field one ball. That was all on the same Phillies players.
Actually it wasn’t the same Phillies players. Multiple crucial starters changed post-Girardi, which is a huge reason for the Phillies 2022 success.
You’re calling both of the teams that represented the NL in the championship series “overrated”; 3 games into the season LOL
You mean the two teams that met in the LCS? LOL.
The Saber-toothed Superfife
The Tigers are the most over rated….
I think he’ll be back in mid-May.
The ” all star break”, return estimate was only to take the pressure off. The only way that would have happened is if Harper suffered a setback in the recovery process. The mid – May projection, is now the most likely return date.
Great to see. Want the NL EAST to be clash of the titans all summer long
Any talk of moving him to 1B?
No talk from Hoskins about that.
To play 1b, you have to be able to throw also. When Harper can throw, he will play right field.
Much shorter throws and demand on the arm at 1B vs RF
I’m sure they had this conversation internally. Especially with Hoskins now out for the year…it makes alot of sense for Harper to get some reps at 1B. He was always just an average outfielder with an elite arm….cant tell after TJS whether that arm will ever be the same.
Can’t wait to see Harper back on the field. Great baseball player.
Yes, you can. Everyone else will wait, too. It will happen when it happens and not a moment before.
Sorry, I will not wait. I’ll stop watching MLB and buying all their merch until Harper is allowed to play again!
Baseball is better with Harper healthy and playing. Wish him the best. Yankee Fan
Harper is a huge boon to baseball in general. Great player who isn’t afraid to be a personality and face for the sport as well. Baseball players are often a lot more soft spoken and low key than other sports players so guys like Harper are super valuable to the game.
Phillies should and likely will play this smart. Harper should take his team and likely DH all year. He can field in 2024. The Phillies will start winning as long as they don’t play the Rangers again. They haven’t beaten them since 2014.
Harper is one of those guys that drives me nuts. When on the field, I like his game. Who doesn’t? But can he play 150 games a year? That’s what drives me nuts.
Wait til you hear about this guy named Buxton.
Nah. Buxton is a “can he play 100 games?” category player.
What else do you expect from Boros clients?
Good luck Philly dudes.
Not with tonight’s game… hope the Yanks smash the Phillies.
But good luck with all your other pursuits.