Report: Harper to undergo thumb surgery with roughly 6-week recovery
"There is optimism" that Harper will return this season after a post-surgery recovery period of approximately six weeks, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, citing sources.
A 97-mph fastball from San Diego Padres lefty Blake Snell hit the two-time MVP on the hand Saturday. Harper has also nursed a torn ulnar collateral ligament throughout the year, which has mostly relegated him to the designated hitter role. He'd made eight appearances in right field, most recently in mid-April.
Exclusively focusing on hitting had paid dividends for Harper and the Phillies, as the 29-year-old owned a .318/.385/.599 slash line with 15 homers and nine stolen bases.
A six-week timeframe would put Harper in line to return in the second week of August.
At 39-35, the Phillies find themselves third in the NL East and eight games back of the New York Mets. They are two games back of the St. Louis Cardinals, who occupy the third and final wild-card spot in the first year of the expanded postseason format.