Bryce Harper underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after all.
The Philadelphia Phillies star underwent the surgery on his elbow on Wednesday, according to NBC Sports’ Jim Salisbury. The procedure apparently went “very well,” and the team is tentatively targeting his return for mid-May.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Bryce Harper had Tommy John surgery today and it went "very well." Could be back hitting competitively by mid-May.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) November 23, 2022
Harper first sustained a small tear in his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in May, which forced the right fielder into a DH role for the rest of the season. He had Wednesday’s surgery scheduled, but it was unclear if he was going to get Tommy John surgery until now.
If Harper can return and start hitting by “mid-May,” that would be about six months after his surgery. Tommy John surgery frequently costs pitchers an entire calendar year recovering, though position players can return much faster. Harper will almost certainly start hitting long before he returns to the field, too, which increases his chances of returning in the early weeks of the 2023 season.
Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, for example, returned as a hitter about eight months after Tommy John surgery in 2019.
Harper finished the season hitting .286/.364/.514 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs. He had six home runs in the Phillies’ World Series run, too, and hit .349/.414/.746 with six home runs in the postseason. The 30-year-old will enter the fifth year of his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies next spring.