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With pins out of thumb, MVP Bryce Harper moving closer to Phillies’ return logo 8/4/2022 Bill Evans,

PHILADELPHIA - The Phillies made several moves at the trade deadline Tuesday.

They welcomed second baseman Jean Segura back from a broken finger on Thursday.

Now, they’re just waiting on Bryce Harper to be a complete team.

The reigning National League MVP suffered a fractured thumb on June 25 and had pins inserted in a surgery a few days after. The pins were removed on Monday and Harper was back swinging a bat later in the day, hitting off a tee.

“Getting the pins out opened things up for me to do what I needed to do to get through the week and get into next week for me to come back,” said Harper. “To be able to throw the baseball again, catch the baseball again, the workouts changed a little bit. I got into the cage that day, so it felt good to get back in and swing the bat again.”

Harper hasn’t progressed beyond tee work and has been hesitant to put a timetable on his return. His recent progress hasn’t changed his thoughts on when he could play a major-league game.

“I don’t want to put timelines on everything, I don’t know how I’m going to react, how my body is going to react,” said Harper. “It’s still the same timeline, September-ish but come back when I’m ready.”

Harper has been dealing with an elbow injury all year that forced him to move from right field to designated hitter early in the season. He has been testing the arm - opposite of the hand with the broken thumb - as well, though noted being able to go back to right field is a secondary goal at the moment.

“I started on a knee, throwing five feet and progressed from there,” said Harper. “I’m up to 40 feet long-toss, which is like throwing wiffle balls to your kid. Not having pain is a big thing, but that’s on the back burner. I just want to get back in the lineup.”

Harper was having an offensive year similar to his MVP season of 2021, batting .318 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI before he was injured. He will return to a team that welcomed Segura back after two months recovering from a broken finger and also brought in three players - center fielder Brandon Marsh, starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard and closer David Robertson - in trades Tuesday.

The Phillies started play Thursday a half-game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the final spot in the National League wild-card race.

“He got us what we needed,” said Harper of Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski.

Bill Evans can be reached at Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting with a subscription.

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