After yet another All-Star campaign and his first trip to the World Series, Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper is heading to the operating table.
On Wednesday, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports in Philadelphia reported that Harper underwent Tommy John surgery today. Per the report, the surgery went "very well" and he is expected back to hitting competitively by mid-May of next season.
Harper played in 99 regular season games this past year, recording 106 hits, 18 home runs and 65 RBIs with a .286 batting average and .877 OPS. He was solid for most of the postseason and led the Phillies to the World Series, only to be held to four hits in 20 at-bats in a 6-game loss to the Astros.
Phillies fans are already lamenting Harper's impending absence. Though a few have found solace in the knowledge that they don't play any division rivals until after Harper's projected return.
Tommy John surgery doesn't always work out completely as expected though. Granted, he's not a pitcher so there's probably no concern about missing an entire year or more, but 6-7 months of recovery can be very hard to get back into a rhythm from for anybody.
The Phillies world title hopes in 2023 will almost certainly hinge on Harper continuing to play at an All-Star level.
Will Bryce Harper return to the team in 2023 looking exactly the same as when the 2022 season ended?