By Sam Bush
Only 159 days after Tommy John surgery, Phils slugger Bryce Harper has been cleared to play by the Philadelphia Phillies, ESPN’s Jeff Passan is reporting.
Harper is expected to be in the lineup starting at designated hitter Tuesday. His recovery is a remarkable one as Harper had been expected to be out until July.
Harper won MVP in 2015 with the Washington Nationals and in 2021 with the Phillies. In four seasons since signing a megadeal with Philadelphia in February 2019, Harper has batted .282 with 101 home runs and 296 RBIs. He has a career .280 batting average and a .523 slugging percentage with 285 homers and 817 RBIs in 1,382 career games over 11 major league seasons.
Harper played in 99 games last season and was named an All-Star for the seventh time. He was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing arm in May and played through it — again as a DH. He also suffered a fractured thumb and missed most of July and August following surgery. He came back in time for the stretch run and helped the Phillies reach the World Series, where they fell to the Astros. He batted .286 for the season with 18 home runs, 28 doubles and 65 RBIs.