Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper avoided a serious arm/elbow injury during Thursday night's Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves. Harper helped record the final out of the top of the eighth inning on a Matt Olson grounder. Unfortunately, Olson's knee collided with Harper's surgically repaired right elbow.
Although Harper immediately grabbed his elbow and appeared to be in a decent amount of pain, he said after the game that he was all good. "I'm good. It just hit my funny bone. I'm fine," he told TBS' sideline reporter.
Remember, Harper had Tommy John surgery on that elbow on Nov. 23 last year and was out this season until May 2. His recovery was amazingly quick -- the quickest in recorded history for a position player -- but he still avoided playing the field until July 21. Formerly an outfielder, Harper served as DH last season after suffering his elbow injury. This year, in order to come back without putting too much pressure on his elbow, he moved to first base. (The Phillies and Harper have remained hopeful that he could move back to the outfield as soon as the 2024 season.)
Harper retreated to the clubhouse during the bottom of the eighth inning (he was not scheduled to bat) but returned before the inning was over. At the top of the ninth inning, he took his post at first base like normal.
The Phillies won by a 3-1 final, eliminating the Braves in four games for a second consecutive NLDS and punching their ticket to the NL Championship Series. The Phillies will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks with a chance to win their second consecutive pennant. Presuming Harper is correct about his arm/elbow being fine, he should be in the lineup come Game 1.