Bryce Harper will remain active in the designated hitter position for the Philadelphia Phillies, but his return to right field will likely have to wait until late July at the earliest.
Due to a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his throwing elbow, doctors recommended that Harper should not throw for at least six weeks, two weeks longer than the original plan.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday it's "safe to say" Harper will not play the field until August, given this new timeline suggested by sports and pain medicine physician Steve Yoon of Los Angeles' Kerlan-Jobe Institute.
Harper, the reigning NL MVP, received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow Sunday and sat out the past three straight games as he recovers from the injection.
When he does return, he'll have to do so in the DH role until the elbow injury heals enough to throw. He hasn't played right field since April 16.
Girardi believes this latest news put Harper "at peace," adding, "I think knowing that he has to wait, there's not much he can do until six weeks anyway. He'll just focus on hitting. I think the concern for the player is when it comes closer to actually trying something out."
Despite his injury, Harper, 29, has been one of the league's top hitters this season, batting .305 with nine home runs, 14 doubles, 27 RBIs and an NL-best .634 slugging percentage.
The DH rule adopted by the NL this year saves Harper from being put on the injured list. Instead, the team is hopeful he will return to the plate on Thursday for the series finale against the San Diego Padres.
--Field Level Media