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Two-time MVP undergoes Tommy John surgery, likely out until May: reports


Bryce Harper tore his UCL way back in April, but with the designated hitter coming into the National League this past season, the Philadelphia Phillies used that to their advantage.

Harper as a DH helped propel the Phillies to their first World Series appearance since 2009.

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, center, stands in the dugout before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

But now that the offseason is here, Harper decided to go under the knife and have Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

NBC Sports notes that Harper can return to a full-time DH role by mid-May, but that will cost about the first 40 games of the regular season.

Of course, the fact that he can DH helps him return earlier — pitchers normally lose at least a full calendar year after the surgery, and it’s not uncommon for pitchers to miss two full seasons.

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in Game Six of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on Nov. 5, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in Game Six of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on Nov. 5, 2022 in Houston, Texas.
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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Luckily, we have Shohei Ohtani, who pitches AND DH’s to give us a glimpse at what’s in store for Harper.

Ohtani also underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and was able to start hitting in games in May 2019. So there’s a chance Harper returns to the Phillies in the same DH role before getting a shot at the outfield again. 

However, Ohtani did not pitch until 2020 — yet he only made two starts and pitched 1.2 innings. He suffered from a flexor strain and was shut down from pitching for the rest of that season.

Harper was named the 2022 National League Championship Series MVP — he went 8-for-20 (.400) with two homers, including the pennant-winning dingier, and five extra-base hits.

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after losing to the Houston Astros 3-2 in Game Five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park on Nov. 3, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after losing to the Houston Astros 3-2 in Game Five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park on Nov. 3, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

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The Phillies have others who can produce offensively, including Kyle Schwarber, if Harper must sit out. But there’s no doubt his presence would be missed in the lineup if his surgery delays his start to the season. 

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.





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