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April 07, 2023

WATCH: Bryce Harper takes batting practice, runs bases ahead of Phillies' home opener

Bryce Harper took batting practice and even ran some base-running drills ahead of the Phillies' opener. He's making progress, but still has a ways to go.

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Bryce_Harper_Phillies_Blue_Jays_092022_KateFrese63.jpg Kate Frese/For PhillyVoice

Bryce Harper at the plate against the Blue Jays on September 20, 2022.

Right on cue, Bryce Harper took batting practice at Citizens Bank Park ahead of the Phillies' home opener on Friday and even ran some base-running drills, of which numerous members of the media captured on video. 

Take a look:

The swing looks good, and by all accounts, Harper seems to be progressing well in his rehab from offseason Tommy John surgery.

However, he and the Phillies both have maintained that there is still a long way to go before he can finally return to the lineup and that they're not in any rush. 

Still, with the decision not to place the 2021 NL MVP and 2022 NLCS MVP on the 60-day injured list to begin the year, there does seem to be optimism from the club that he may be back before that initial estimate of the All-Star break later this summer. At the very least, they're keeping their options open. 

MORE: When will Darick Hall, Ranger Suárez and others return?

Right now, per Phillies manager Rob Thomson on Wednesday, the hangups aren't so much on Harper swinging the bat, but what could happen to his elbow during other aspects of the game such as sliding on the base paths.

”He feels great,” Thomson said (via The Philadelphia Inquirer's Alex Coffey). “And it’s not hitting that we’re concerned about. It’s sliding. We’ve got to get clearance from the doctor on that one first. If he slides headfirst he could rupture (the elbow). And then we’re back to square one.”

So no rush. 

The Phillies could definitely use their top star's bat right now, especially with Darick Hall needing thumb surgery and expected out for a bit, but they'll happily take it whenever they can, just so long as Harper's fully cleared and healthy. 

MORE: The best of the Phillies' home openers this century

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