Bryce Harper's thumb keeping him from facing live pitching

·1 min read

Harper not ready to face live pitching but Thomson still believes he'll be back originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

A little more than a week after having three surgical pins removed from his broken left thumb, Bryce Harper is still hitting off of a tee and has not progressed to facing live pitching.

Harper doesn't yet have enough flexibility in the thumb to face live pitching, manager Rob Thomson said prior to Tuesday's game against the Marlins.

"It's not sore, there's just not much flexibility in there," Thomson said. "There is some flexibility but he needs to get more flexibility before we're comfortable with him seeing pitching."

There was some hope that Harper could be back by the end of August, but multiple steps remain until that will be possible. He'll need to face live pitching and eventually go out on a rehab assignment to get his timing down.

Thomson maintains his belief that Harper will make it back in time to help the Phils down the stretch.

"Yeah, I think he'll be back with us," he said. "No doubt about it in my mind."

Harper still has a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. It has prevented him from playing the field since mid-April because he can't throw without pain. He was set to begin a throwing program but the Phillies are backing off of it because there is still stiffness in his elbow.

The elbow injury hasn't and won't impact Harper's ability to hit. It just means that when he does return, it will be as the Phillies' designated hitter. It seems highly unlikely that Harper will play the field again in 2022.

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