Report: Bryce Harper likely to undergo thumb surgery; plans to return in 2022

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The left thumb fracture that Bryce Harper suffered after being hit by Blake Snell Saturday doesn't appear likely to end his season, but the Philadelphia Phillies are probably going to be without the reigning National League MVP for the foreseeable future.

Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer hears that the 29-year-old's injury is likely going to require a surgical procedure, but there's optimism that it won't end his fourth season with the Phillies prematurely:

"Harper is expected to need surgery on his fractured left thumb, several sources indicated, which would put his recovery time beyond the best-case scenario of four to six weeks. But even though only 14 weeks remain in the season, the reigning National League MVP is said to be hopeful of playing again this year, possibly even before the end of August."

The good news is that the Phillies are red hot currently, having gone 18-6 in June, with the decision to replace Joe Girardi with Rob Thomson at manager having paid immediate dividends.

The bad news is that Harper was at the forefront of what's been one of the best months that the Phillies have had in the last 10 years, as he was slashing .359/.455/.641 with a 1.095 OPS in June. Even though a partial tear to his UCL has forced Harper to DH for much of the 2022 season, he was putting together another monster season and is still likely to be elected to the seventh All-Star Game of his career.

Harper joins Jean Segura as multiple-time All-Stars that the Phillies are currently without because of finger fractures. Segura -- who fractured his right index finger -- underwent surgery to repair his injury on June 3. At that time, the Phillies estimated that they would be without Segura for 10-12 weeks.

It could be a hell of a shot in the arm if the Phillies are able to get both Harper and Segura back in the final few weeks of the season as they chase their first postseason appearance since 2011.

But at 39-35, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is going to have to make some magic happen in the interim for the Phillies to be able to keep pace with the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

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