Bryce Harper Reveals His Return Timeline

A partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow has already forced Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper to abandon the outfield for now, and stick to designated hitter. But he hasn't played at all since receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection last weekend. The reigning NL MVP has had soreness in the elbow, and now says he hopes to return to the lineup on Thursday. 

"I think the biggest thing is, I can hit, as of right now," Harper said. "We're going to take our time with it. Make sure it heals properly, and hopefully takes."

To say he "can hit" with the UCL tear is an understatement. He won NL Player of the Week honors last week, batting an insane .609 (14 for 23) with 3 HR, 6 doubles, 8 RBIs and a 1.904 OPS. 

When he does return to the lineup, it will definitely be as DH once again. Phillies manager Joe Girardi said he won't be allowed to throw for at least six weeks, and in fact, MLB analyst Eduardo Perez said on MLB Network Radio this morning,"I think it's a given that most likely he's going to end up DHing maybe most of the year."

The 29-year-old Harper managed to play just 8 games in right field before the injury. Nevertheless, overall this season, he appears to be making a run to defend his MVP crown, batting .305 with 9 home runs, 27 RBIs, and an NL-best .634 slugging percentage.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports