Phillies slugger Harper to get elbow checked next week

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LAS VEGAS (TBEN) — Philadelphia slugger Bryce Harper will have his damaged right elbow checked next week to see if surgery is needed.

The two-time NL MVP tore an elbow ligament in April and was unable to play in the outfield for the rest of the year.

Harper, who turned 30 in October, will meet on Monday with prominent orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache to have his torn ulnar collateral ligament examined.

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“It can’t be surgery for a Tommy John operation,” Dave Dombrowski, Phillies president of baseball operations, told reporters Wednesday at MLB general managers meetings in Las Vegas. “We’ll just have to wait and see what the doctor says.”

Harper hit .286 with 18 home runs and 65 RBI’s in 99 games. He was a force as the Phillies’ designated batter and led their push to the World Series, where they lost to Houston in six games.

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“It didn’t bother his elbow to hit,” Dombrowski said. “So that’s a good thing.”

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months.

Harper signed a $330 million 13-year contract as a free agent to join the Phillies for the 2019 season. A seven-time All-Star, he was the NL Championship Series MVP this year.

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