It’s not time to panic with Bryce Harper’s injury … yet

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Philadelphia Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper has played just one game since he was hit in the face last Wednesday by a 97 miles per hour fastball from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Genesis Cabrera.

Harper walked off on his own, went through concussion protocol, and later that night posted a video to social media saying that he was “all good.” Perhaps the six-time All-Star is not entirely okay after all. He went on to miss the team’s next three games, with a wrist injury being the primary reason for his absence.

Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper is out of the lineup again. Is it time to panic?

After batting 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in his return on Sunday — a crushing 8-7, nationally televised loss to the New York Mets, Harper is out of the lineup again for Monday’s four-game series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Manager Joe Girardi told reporters that Harper re-aggravated his wrist injury at some point during the loss — possibly not even during a swing or plate appearance. Team doctors are currently reevaluating Harper, but the consensus hope is that his sore wrist will not lead to an injured list stint.

The Phillies losing Harper any additional time to what he has already missed would be a blow to a team that clearly needs a boost any way it can get it. Harper is slashing .317/.446/.598 on the season with five doubles, six home runs, 10 RBI, 17 walks, and just 21 strikeouts through 101 plate appearances.

Lacking a true center fielder, the Phillies already have one issue in the outfield — and arguably a second with Andrew McCutchen not being the same player that he was in his first and second seasons in red pinstripes. Harper being out on top of that would only put the entire outfield mix in doubt. The team reportedly is already looking into a solution for one of these dilemmas — discussing to try out Nick Maton in center, once Jean Segura returns from his respective injury, The Athletic’s Matt Gelb reports.

Hopefully, Harper only misses one or two more games and returns to full health at some point during the four-game home series against the Brewers.

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