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Bryce Harper has ‘small’ UCL tear

Bryce Harper is dealin with an elbow. injury.(Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire)

It’s going to be some time before Bryce Harper returns playing the field for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Harper’s been dealing with an elbow injury that has prevented from playing in the field since April 16. Ahead of the Phillies opening their series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, Harper met with noted physician Neal ElAttrache. As it turns out, the reigning National League MVP does have a “small tear” in his UCL, Joe Girardi said Thursday to the collective media, including Alex Coffey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The small tear — at least for now — doesn’t mean that Harper will need Tommy John surgery. Instead, the 29-year-old won’t throw for four weeks, before attempting to resume throwing after that.

Harper is slated to have a platelet rich plasma injection in his elbow on Sunday, Coffey adds. According to Girardi, that will keep him from playing in the series finale, and could put his status for Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park in question.

There isn’t a plan to shut Harper down for an extended period of time, though, as he’ll continue to DH while resting his elbow. Even though he’s been unable to play right field, Harper is hitting .306 with a .981 OPS so far in May.

In the meantime, Nick Castellanos will continue to play in right field. In 187 innings in right field this season, Castellanos has -3 defensive runs saved and -2 outs above average.

Castellanos had been in line to get a bulk of the at-bats at DH, but as long as Harper is unable to play right field, he, Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm will have to play in the field every day.


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