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Bryce Harper injury update: Phillies star heading to rehab as he nears recovery from broken thumb

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News Sports: Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper will begin a minor league rehabilitation period on Tuesday with Philadelphia’s Triple-A Lehigh Valley affiliate, manager Rob Thomson told reporters Monday. Harper is scheduled to play every day through Saturday and could return to the Phillies lineup as early as next Monday. (Position players are allowed up to 20 days in rehab.)

If Harper returns next Monday (August 29th), he will be slightly earlier than originally planned. “September 1st, I think that’s a realistic goal,” baseball chief of operations Dave Dombrowski said during an appearance on MLB Network last week. Dombrowski added that Harper will return as the Phillies’ designated hitter.

Harper, 29, hasn’t played since June 25 after San Diego Padres lefty Blake Snell broke his thumb. 318/. 385/. 599 (170 OPS+) in his first 64 games, with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. His contributions were worth an estimated 2.5 wins per rotation per baseball reference and earned him an All-Star Game selection. Unfortunately, Harper was unable to compete at the Midsommar Classic for the seventh time in his career.

The Phillies, who have a 66-55 season, started his 12th game in the National League East on Monday. The road to the playoffs is via a wildcard spot. The Phillies are now the third and final NL wild card team, leading the Milwaukee Brewers by 1.5 games. The San Francisco Giants, who are six games behind, are the next closest team. The Phillies have seven games this week against the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates before heading to the West Coast next week. Harper’s return could coincide with his three-game visit to Arizona’s Diamondbacks. The Phillies then play his three games with the aforementioned Giants.

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