Bryce Harper was initially expected to be out until around the All-Star break in July while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Philadelphia Phillies' star shattered that timeline though, with the recent announcement that he is expected to return on Tuesday, per Jeff Passan.
“Only 159 days after Tommy John surgery, two-time MVP Bryce Harper has been cleared to play by the Philadelphia Phillies, sources tell ESPN. A remarkable recovery, shattering expectations he’d return in July. He's expected to be in the lineup starting at designated hitter Tuesday,” Passan wrote on Twitter.
Harper will likely DH on a consistent basis for the Phillies. He's reportedly been working at first base as well, so it will be interesting to see if he receives reps at the position at some point in 2023. Regardless, the Phillies are just excited to get Bryce Harper back in the lineup.
The Phillies haven't had the best start to the 2023 season, holding a 15-14 record heading into May. Harper's return will likely energize the team and could lead to a winning streak. However, Harper is set to return against a talented team in the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.
Bryce Harper is one of the best players in the game when healthy. As Passan mentioned, he's a two-time MVP and helped lead the Phillies to the World Series in 2022. Additionally, Harper is a seven-time All-Star. It may take him some time to find his footing in 2023, especially considering that Bryce Harper and the Phillies decided that a rehab stint wasn't necessary, but it's difficult to underestimate such a proven player.