Harper staying patient during hiatus: Public health is '1st and foremost'
Will Newton / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper wants to get back to baseball just like everyone else, but he isn't interested in resuming play if doing so will put lives at risk.

"I think everybody wants to play as many games as we can, but first and foremost, it's the health of everybody in this country," Harper told Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"This is something that is really serious. We can't just think about ourselves in this situation and getting back to playing baseball because we want to. I think there's a lot of people that miss their sports and (athletes) miss the competition. But you also have an opportunity to keep spreading (the coronavirus) and it coming back."

Harper, who donated $500,000 to relief aid in Las Vegas and Philadelphia last week, told Lauber he's willing to play until November and is in favor of holding the World Series at a neutral site, but he wants to wait for the severity of the health crisis to decline before returning to the field.

"We need to think about our neighbors, our elderly, and our parents," the 27-year-old said. "Once this all blows over and we can get back into baseball, then that will be (at) the forefront of our minds.

"I think we're all playing a waiting game of when they're going to open things up and when the orders are all going to go away, and I think that's going to take some time."

There is no timeline for the commencement of the 2020 MLB season, but commissioner Rob Manfred said in March the league would dictate future decisions based on public health concerns.

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Harper staying patient during hiatus: Public health is '1st and foremost'
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