By Sam Bush
The Associated Press in Las Vegas is reporting that Phillies slugger Bryce Harper says he will report to spring training Wednesday as he continues recovering from elbow surgery and then determine when he can return full time.
The two-time National League MVP was injured last April and last played right field April 16 in Miami. He underwent reconstructive right elbow surgery in November, causing him to miss the beginning of spring training.
The 30-year-old will have some catching up to do when he arrives in Clearwater, Florida. His teammates have been adjusting to new pitch clock rules, part of Major League Baseball’s efforts to speed up the game.
“It’s going to be a different game, of course, especially with myself and a lot of guys that have been playing for a long time,” Harper said Sunday.
“It’s going to be different to see baseball on a time clock, but it’s something we’re going to have to adapt to. We’ll see what happens going forward. I look forward to kind of progressing in that how and when I can.”
Harper was at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to serve as grand marshal for the NASCAR Cup Series’ Pennzoil 400 race. He is a Las Vegas native who makes his offseason home here.
He had a platelet-rich plasma injection on his ailing elbow in May and became a full-time designated hitter to finish the season, helping lead the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009.
They lost to the Houston Astros in six games, but Harper batted .349 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games. His two-run homer with two outs in eighth inning captured the pennant for the Phillies in a 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.