Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper will be in the starting lineup as the designated hitter for Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers after missing five games due to a right elbow injury.
Harper, 29, has a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his throwing elbow. The two-time National League MVP received a platelet-rich plasma injection last Sunday and said he feels ready to swing the bat.
“The last couple of days were tough for me,” Harper told reporters before Saturday’s game. “Woke up (Friday) feeling good and today feeling better, as well.”
Harper, who will bat third against Los Angeles, isn’t expected to play in the field for at another six to eight weeks. He currently is unable to throw.
The National League adopted the designated hitter prior to this season. That gives the reigning NL MVP a way to contribute while dealing with the injury.
Harper, 29, is batting .305 with nine homers, 14 doubles and 27 RBIs.
Harper has a .280 career average with 276 homers and 779 RBIs in 11 seasons with the Washington Nationals (2012-18) and Phillies. Harper was Rookie of the Year in 2012 and won his first NL MVP with the Nationals in 2015. He is the reigning MVP.
The Phillies went 1-4 in Harper’s absence, including a 4-1 loss on Friday in the first of three games versus Los Angeles.