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MLB

Bryce Harper’s injury: what is the recovery time for a broken thumb?

Bryce Harper broke his thumb after it got hit by a fastball by Blake Snell. The injury might sideline him for a longer time than the Phillies can afford.

Update:
Bryce Harper broke his thumb after it got hit by a fastball by Blake Snell. The injury might sideline him for a longer time than the Phillies can afford.
DENIS POROYAFP

It was painful to watch Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper drop to the ground after a 97 mph fastball by San Diego Padres starter Blake Snell hit his left thumb on Saturday night at Petco Park.

Harper appeared to be in great agony and left the game immediately. His team announced that his finger had suffered a fracture and that he was set to undergo additional tests.

No timetable for Bryce Harper’s return

The Phillies put the 29-year-old on the 10-day injured list on Sunday, but has not yet given a timeline for his return. Further evaluation will determine the extent of the injury, whether Harper will require surgery, and how much time he will be out of action.

There are various timetables for recovery from a broken thumb. If the fractured bone fragments have not moved too much out of place, a doctor could set the bones without operating. A cast must usually be worn for about six weeks to immobilize the finger while it heals.

However, if further examination determines that Harper would need surgery, he would still need to wear a cast or a splint for about two to six weeks after the procedure. He would then likely need to undergo rehabilitation to regain the finger’s full range of motion.

Some people who have undergone an operation on their thumb have needed a few months to regain the full use of their hand, depending on the extent of the injury.

MLB players’ recovery time from thumb fractures

Last year, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto also broke his left thumb after getting hit with a pitch, and was not able to play for about a month. His injury did not require an operation.

In 2017, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout was out for six weeks after undergoing surgery on his thumb.

The Phillies will feel any time missed by Harper. The reigning National League MVP was enjoying one of his best seasons before his thumb got hurt, batting .318 with 15 home run and 48 RBIs.

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