Phillies fans excited to see Bryce Harper on Opening Day can breathe easier. Their new star should be ready to go when the regular season begins.
The phrase right ankle contusion has never excited a fanbase quite like what it’s doing for the Phillies at the moment. That diagnosis for Bryce Harper means their shiny new superstar should be ready to go when the regular season arrives.
When Blue Jays pitcher Trent Thornton pegged Harper’s ankle with a 96 mile per hour fastball on Friday many Philadelphia fans feared the worst. Their new outfielder clearly was hurt by the pitch and showed a heavy limp as he was leaving the field.
The organization wisely chose to X-Ray Harper’s ankle after the incident, but the results were negative. Any structural damage would have likely caused Harper to miss an extended portion of the regular season. As it stands, his bruised ankle only makes his current status day-to-day.
In other words, Harper has plenty of time to get ready to go for Opening Day. That’s obviously good news for a Phillies team that many now believe is the favorite to win the NL East title. The addition of Harper, coupled with earlier moves for Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto has expectations really high in Philadelphia.
Phillies fans shouldn’t expect to see a ton of Harper between now and Opening Day though. The team’s medical staff will want to give his injured ankle as much time as possible to heal. The last thing anyone wants in Philadelphia is for a sore ankle to weigh his performance down as the year progresses. Harper is too important to this franchise to risk in Spring Training.
Harper is one of the most talented players in the game, but he’s not indestructible. Phillies fans can breathe a healthy sigh of relief that their new star’s ankle is only bruised.