The Philadelphia Phillies are set to get superstar slugger Bryce Harper back from a lengthy stint on the IL this week, but not all news is good for the squad. While Harper will be back in the fold, the Phillies were hit with a separate injury blow, as ace Zack Wheeler was placed on the 15-day IL due to right forearm tendinitis, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports. 

Wheeler has arguably been the best pitcher on the Phillies’ roster, so losing him in the heat of their postseason push is a deflating blow for the organization. Of course, adding Harper will help soften that blow, but they’ll need the rest of their rotation to step up in Wheeler’s stead.

The IL stint is retroactive to August 22, so Wheeler will first be eligible to return on Sept. 6. That would line Wheeler up to return for the Phillies’ series against the Miami Marlins, should he only require a minimum stay on the Injured List.

He’ll be missing matchups with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the San Francisco Giants while on the mend, though that’s hardly the most difficult slate of series’. Still, with the Phillies vying to hold onto their Wild Card spot in the National League, losing Wheeler is a tough pill to swallow. Philadelphia is clinging onto a 2.0 game cushion in the second seed of the NL Wild Card race, just ahead of the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers.

This season, Zack Wheeler has logged a 3.07 ERA across 23 starts. He’s fanned 148 batters in 138.0 innings while walking 33. One of baseball’s biggest All-Star snubs, Wheeler has been quietly having a tremendous season and will look to continue that in early September when he returns from the IL.

For now, Phillies fans will celebrate Harper getting re-activated, but unfortunately, the return of one superstar was paired with the loss of another.