Bryce Harper Diagnosed With UCL Tear, Won’t Throw For A Month

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The Phillies received some good news and bad news today, as Zack Wheeler was activated off of the COVID-19 Injured List, but Bryce Harper was diagnosed with a small UCL tear. The activation of Wheeler will help lengthen a recently depleted Phils rotation. Harper hasn’t played the field in weeks after feeling pain in his right elbow following a throw from right field. The 29-year-old has been limited to the designated hitter spot since that time, and it appears that will continue to be the case for another month at least.

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Harper visited the world renowned Dr. Neal ElAttrache to get a second opinion on his elbow sprain, and ElAttrache confirmed that he had a slight tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. This is the same ligament that is replaced when a player undergoes Tommy John surgery, but with Harper’s injury not being considered too severe, the hope is that rest will be able to lend a natural resolution. The right fielder is scheduled to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection on Sunday, which will result in at least one game missed for the superstar. 

Hopefully, Harper’s UCL will heal on its own in a reasonable amount of time, as the Phillies have been forced to play both Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber in the corner outfield in his absence. While both sluggers are terrific at the plate, they give fans a great deal of heartburn when roaming the outfield grass. The Phillies currently sit 7.0 games back of the New York Mets in the National League East, and will need the Harper UCL issue to resolve itself sooner rather than later in order to avoid losing significantly more ground.

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