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Bryce Harper, the Philadelphia Phillies star outfielder and reigning National League MVP, vowed to return this season after suffering a broken left thumb last month.
Harper had three pins inserted into his thumb after being struck by a pitch from San Diego Padres pitcher Blake Snell that threw his season into disarray.
“I’ll be back,” Harper told reporters Tuesday without giving a definitive timeline about when he was looking to return.
“I don’t want to give anybody a timetable because I don’t know. If I knew a specific date that I’d be back, I’d tell you. I just don’t think it’s fair to anybody. I’ll be back when I’m ready to go,” Harper said.
The Phillies star was hitting .318 with 15 home runs and a .985 OPS before leaving the field. Philadelphia was in the thick of the National League wild-card race entering Tuesday.
“I don’t want to hope or think about anything. 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. “Granted, if we’re out of it, I’m going to come back and play no matter what, just so I know that I can go out there and play the game. I don’t want that to be my last day playing this year. No matter what the outcome, I’m going to come back, and I’ll be playing.”
Philadelphia beat the Washington Nationals 11-0 later in the night. The Phillies moved to 43-38 and are in third place in the National League East.
The Phillies begin a nine-game road trip starting Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. The trip will continue later with the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins.
Harper said he would be with the team cheering his teammates on if it were not for his medical appointments.
“I don’t really feel the need for me to go anywhere, especially with appointments for the next two weeks with the doctors,” he said. “If I didn’t have those appointments, I’d be going on this road. After the break, I’ll be kind of a little more open to going on the road and travel and get the things done I need to.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.