By DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phillies slugger Bryce Harper says “I will be back at some point” to play this season but won’t put a timetable on when he can return from his broken left thumb.
Harper was injured last month when he was hit by a 97 mph pitch from San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell. The 2021 NL MVP had three pins put in his thumb during surgery that will be there for three weeks. He is in a cast and unable to throw.
The 29-year-old Harper is hitting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .985 OPS
“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.”
Harper checked his swing as the pitch rode inside and high toward his shoulder before hitting him on the outside of the left hand in the fourth inning. He fell to the ground and was in pain as he held his hand while on his knees for several minutes.
Philadelphia is 4-3 in Harper’s absence and entered Tuesday only one game back of the final NL wild-card spot.
The All-Star outfielder, who has been a designated hitter for most of the season, said he experienced “general soreness” in the immediate days after the surgery but felt better on Monday.
“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.”
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