By Peter Marks

Bryce Harper returned Tuesday night, but he was injured during his first game after fielding a ball hit off the bat of Freddie Freeman.

Manager Rob Thomson decided to be safe and sit Harper in Wednesday night’s game due to this hand injury.

While it’s concerning since he just returned, there doesn’t seem to be much of a worry. Thomson said that if it were a playoff game, the left-handed slugger would be playing, which is all that matters.

Thomson had the following to say, according to Tom Ignudo of CBS News:

“He can play, but any time with hand and foot injuries, I’m a little bit leery because it changes your swing a little bit,” Thomson said, “but if this was a playoff game or anything like that he would play.”

With how serious any injury to a superstar could be, this is as promising of an update as the Phillies could get. Even if Philadelphia was to let him sit leading up to the All-Star break, which isn’t expected, they’ve given themselves a big enough lead in the division to do so.

They currently have a 7.5-game lead over the Atlanta Braves and should only improve with additions that the front office is expected to make in the coming weeks before the trade deadline.

Losing Harper for an extended period of time with the second half already here would be devastating, so Thomson is doing the right thing. Factor in the hamstring injury he just came back from, and taking a chance just doesn’t make much sense.

The 31-year-old has continued to prove why he’s arguably the best player in baseball, slashing .299/.394/.574 with 20 home runs and 20 doubles in just 291 at-bats.

40 of his 87 hits have been for extra bases, an impressive mark for the now eight-time All-Star.

Fortunately, Harper looks to have avoided anything too serious.

For the Phillies to be the team they’re looking to be, they’ll need him to be healthy when it matters most in October, and that seems to be the case after this small injury.

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