Updates on Harper's timetable, Moniak's injury progress


Bryce Harper was not in the Phillies’ starting lineup for a third straight game Wednesday night as he continues to recover from a medical procedure on his injured right elbow.

“He’s still a little sore,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s still day to day. We’re hopeful for (Thursday afternoon).”

Harper had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection Sunday in Los Angeles. The initial plan was for him to stay away from throwing for a month. That plan, Girardi revealed Wednesday, has now been amended.

“We got an update for Dr. (Steve) Yoon, who did the procedure,” Girardi said. “He recommended six weeks of no throw to give the blood that he spun and put back in there more time to work.”

Two extra weeks of downtime is not dramatic but it does mean Harper now won’t do any throwing – i.e., test the arm – until the final week of June. That would push back any potential return to the outfield until late July or early August because Girardi predicted Harper could need three to four weeks to build up his arm in a throwing program before he's allowed to play the outfield.

And this is all contingent on the tear in Harper’s ulnar collateral ligament responding well to the PRP treatment.

“I hope he plays the outfield again this season,” Girardi said. “The hope is the procedure helps it scar over and he’s healed. It’s worked before but there’s no 100 percent guarantee.”

The injury has not prevented Harper from serving as the Phillies’ designated hitter. He will resume that role when the pain from Sunday’s injection subsides. That could be as early as Thursday afternoon when the Phillies face San Diego right-hander Yu Darvish. Harper is 1 for 6 with a walk and six strikeouts lifetime against Darvish. The hit was a home run.


With Harper unable to play defense, the Phillies need outfield depth.

Mickey Moniak, who made the team out of spring training only to go down with a broken right hand before opening day, is in Florida taking live at-bats. According to Girardi, Moniak will begin playing in extended spring training games on Thursday.

“Beyond that, I can’t tell you,” Girardi said of Moniak’s timetable.

Though getting closer to a possible return, Moniak is going to need several weeks' worth of time and minor-league reps before the Phillies can fully evaluate his readiness.

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