MLB

Phillies’ Harper will miss season opener after elbow surgery

Phillies’ Harper will miss season opener after elbow surgery

PHILADELPHIA – Phillies shortstop Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter for the All-Star break. According to the team, he could return to right field at the end of the season.

Harper, 30, suffered a small tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He received an injection of platelet-rich plasma in May and transitioned to designated hitter.

Harper met on November 14 with ElAttrache, who determined that the tear did not heal on its own and required surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper broke his thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career homers.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber as designated hitters. JT Realmuto could also serve as a DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.

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