Saturday, November 26, 2022

Bryce Harper returns for the Phillies after a 5-game absence

PHILADELPHIA ( Associated Press) — Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies lineup on Saturday as the designated hitter after he missed the last five games due to pain from a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow.

The reigning NL MVP for the Phillies took third place against the Los Angeles Dodgers and right-hander Mitch White.

Harper, 29, is batting .305 with nine home runs, 14 doubles, 27 RBI and .634 slugging percentage. He has been playing on a specially designated hitter since sustaining a hand injury on a throw from right field last month. He last played on the field in Miami on April 16.

“The last few days were tough for me,” Harper said before the game. “Woke up yesterday, felt good yesterday and I feel good today.”

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Harper had expected to play in the three-match series against San Diego last week. He was shot on Sunday because of a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his throwing elbow and was ruled out of the final against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He missed the entire Padres series and opener on Friday at home against the Dodgers.

“The plan is to always be there,” Harper said. “But if I feel it or I’m not well, I’ll be out of the lineup.”

Harper was unable to throw due to injury. It may take up to six weeks before he is cleared to try again and possibly resume his position in the right area.

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Harper would probably have spent a portion of the season on the injured list if the National League had not adopted DH this season. Manager Joe Girardi said there was a chance the Phillies would have taken him on the roster as a pinch hitter.

The Phillies had lost four of five games entering Saturday.

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