(Reuters) – Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper said he will not rush back into action after being hit in the face by a 96.9 mph fastball from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Genesis Cabrera, which also left him with a wrist injury.
Harper was hit on the side of his face while batting in the sixth inning of the match at Busch Stadium on Wednesday, with the ball also going on to strike his left wrist.
The 28-year-old was ruled out of the team’s next meeting with the Cardinals and Friday’s clash against the New York Mets.
“I don’t want to be dumb and go out there and play just to look tough,” Harper told reporters. “There have been so many times where I’ve done that.”
Harper was left with blood on his face after the incident but walked off the pitch on his own. He was taken to a hospital and underwent a CT scan that ruled out any serious injury.
“I definitely had an angel on my side out there that night,” Harper, who indicated that his wrist injury was a bigger issue, said. “I’m super excited and blessed to have this conversation with you guys right now.
“The first 30 minutes to an hour after, I was worried. ‘What’s going on with my head? What going on with my face, my body? Am I going to be OK?’ It was definitely a whirlwind of emotions at the time.
“I was in a lot of pain. I didn’t sleep well that night. Just replaying in my mind the whole situation, thinking, you’re talking about a couple inches up or a couple inches over, we might be having a different situation.”
Cabrera, whose next pitch struck Phillies’ Didi Gregorius on his ribs, apologised to both players.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)