Bryce Harper is likely to remain at designated hitter and might not play the outfield when he returns from a broken left thumb that has sidelined him since late June.

Harper had been periodically doing a throwing program with the hopes of returning to the outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies, but he's had to cut back on that regimen.

"We're just going to back off a minute and concentrate on the hitting," interim manager Rob Thomson said.

On Aug. 1, Harper had the three pins removed from his left thumb and began hitting off a tee. He said last week that he hopes to return in September, though he didn't provide a firm timetable.