Shohei Ohtani's UCL injury and the prospect of getting a second Tommy John surgery are looming over the future of the Los Angeles Angels star. Not only would getting the procedure in 2023 prevent Shohei Ohtani from pitching in 2024, but it could also affect him at the plate. It's a fact that Philadelphia Phillies' star Bryce Harper understands, given his own UCL injury.

Harper played almost all of the 2022 season with a torn UCL before getting Tommy John surgery in late November. Harper returned to the Phillies' lineup in May, and the outfielder has been relegated to playing first base and DH. Getting back on the field in 160 days was one thing, but Harper isn't a two-way star like Ohtani. Whether or not he's playing for the Angels next year, Ohtani faces a significant challenge because of the injury.

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“He’s been through it before,” Harper said, via The Athletic. “He understands it. His body works differently than a lot of people around the league. He’s got to pitch. He’s got to hit. The daily grind of that, I couldn’t imagine.”

Harper has been among MLB's most productive hitters, though his stats have declined amid his UCL injury. After posting a 1.044 OPS in his 2021 MVP campaign, Harper had a .877 OPS while playing through the tear in 2022. Harper is hitting .308 in 2023 without the same power that he had before getting surgery. He has 15 home runs in 99 games.

“Just understanding the process,” Harper said when asked about the most difficult part of his recovery. “The good days and the bad days. Understanding there’s days you’re going to feel good. There’s days when you’re going to feel not so good.”

Ohtani has showcased more power than anyone in 2023. The Angels' slugger leads MLB with 44 home runs. His .661 slugging percentage is also the best in baseball and 39 points higher than the next-closest hitter.

Ohtani had Tommy John Surgery at the end of the 2018 season. The injury kept him off the mound in 2019. In 106 games that season for the Angels, Ohtani hit .286/.343/.505 with 18 home runs. Ohtani's OPS dropped 77 points compared to the previous year.

“I hope it’s not too bad,” Harper said. “I hope he can come back from it very strong and keep being Shohei, because it’s fun to watch.”