Bryce Harper To Undergo Surgery; Timeline for 2023

Overall, it's hard to complain about the 2022 season the Philadelphia Phillies had. But one frustration was Bryce Harper's elbow situation. He was limited to 99 games, and then to DH duties only upon his return due to a damaged UCL that precluded him from throwing from the outfield. Now comes news that that will be taken care of next week.

Harper will be going under the knife for UCL surgery on his right elbow. It's not yet known if the Tommy John procedure will be needed, so his timeline for return in 2023 is unknown at this time.  

The recovery period from a TJ surgery, which is 12-18 months for a pitcher, is not anywhere near that long for a position player. A recent example to go by would be Shohei Ohtani: the Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1, 2018, and returned as the Angels’ DH on May 7, 2019 — seven months. 

This means that if Harper is forced to have the TJ procedure, he could be out until about the end of June before returning as a DH. A non-Tommy John repair would hopefully allow for an earlier return. All of that is still to be determined until the surgeons get in there. 

The two-time MVP was at full-strength at the plate during the postseason, hitting .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs over 17 games during the Phillies run to the World Series, including nabbing NLCS MVP honors. 

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports