Giants 1B Belt to undergo season-ending knee surgery

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN FRANCISCO – Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Saturday in San Francisco.

Dr. Ken Akizuki will perform the procedure.

“It’s obviously disappointing for Brandon and for all of us,” manager Gabe Kapler said Friday. “We’ve been trending in this direction and Brandon has fought it so hard and wanted to be out there for his teammates and for all of us, and we just weren’t able to get over the hump.”

Belt had surgery on the same knee in 2015 and 2018. The 34-year-old has faced multiple stints on the injured list with knee inflammation this season, missing 23 games between May 19 and June 14. He last played on Aug. 20.

“He’s shown that he can get through major injuries in the past so there’s no reason he can’t do it again,” Kapler said. “When he’s right, he’s one of the better first basemen in the game.”

After hitting a career-high 29 home runs last season, Belt was limited to eight this year, batting .213 in 78 games. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.