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Bryce Harper has lower back stiffness, Phillies hope he can play Monday


Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper doesn’t have a serious injury, but his status for Monday’s game against the Washington Nationals is unclear.

Bryce Harper suffered an injury Sunday. (John Adams/Icon Sportswire)

Harper left Sunday’s game with the Toronto Blue Jays with lower back stiffness. He will get treatment this evening, and the Phillies hope that the 27-year-old is available to face his former team Monday night. Ultimately, though, his status for the game remains to be seen.

Joe Girardi did say that while this isn’t something that ever kept Harper from being in the lineup, he has dealt with a back injury “from time to time” in 2020. It stands to reason that could have been part of the reason why he went into a slump after a scorching-hot start to the season. That said, Harper homered three times between the three games on Thursday and Friday, so it appeared he had broken out of that lull.

If the Phillies are without Harper even for a game or two, it obviously would hurt their chances to snap an eight-year postseason drought. Rhys Hoskins is currently on the injured list with a UCL injury, and J.T. Realmuto, though not on the injured list, hasn’t played since Sept. 12 because of a left hip injury.

Girardi said after Sunday’s loss that Realmuto won’t be ready to catch Monday. That said, Realmuto took batting practice Sunday and Girardi called it “a good day” for the 29-year-old catcher. He didn’t rule out the possibility of Realmuto DHing Monday evening, though he said that the two-time All-Star wouldn’t have been available to pinch hit in an emergency Sunday.

The Phillies are 27-26 after Sunday’s loss to the Blue Jays. Their remaining seven games will be on the road. Four will be in D.C., and then the final three will be this upcoming weekend in Tampa Bay against the Rays.

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