Bryce Harper knows he’ll be back — he just doesn’t know when.
Harper suffered a fractured left thumb after being drilled by a 97 mph fastball from Blake Snell on June 25. The reigning National League MVP underwent successful surgery last week and had three pins inserted into his thumb in hopes of hastening the healing process.
“I don’t want that to be my last day playing this year,” Harper said Tuesday in his first public comments since the injury. “No matter what the outcome, I’m going to come back and I’ll be playing.
“… I don’t want to give anybody a timetable because I don’t know. I don’t think that’s fair to you guys or my teammates or anybody else. If I knew a specific date that I’d be back, I’d tell you. But I’ll be back.”
In his absence, the Phillies have gone 4-3 and currently sit eight games behind the Mets in the NL East and one game behind the Cardinals for the last NL wild-card spot. The 29-year-old Harper was hitting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .985 OPS when he was injured.
Harper — who said he “hates” sitting on the bench — maintained that he’ll do whatever it takes to get back on the field this season.
“I just want to go day by day and be back when I can, whenever I feel healthy, whenever that is to help this team win,” Harper said.
Even before the thumb injury, Harper had already been hampered by injuries. A torn ligament in his right elbow relegated the two-time MVP to designated hitter duties.