Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper falls into the dugout as he gives chase for a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Philadelphia. (Photo: AP/Derik Hamilton)

PHILADELPHIA. — Phillies slugger Bryce Harper was back in the lineup, batting third and playing first base, for Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds after being off in Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Harper’s absence on Sunday was a scheduled one and not because of any possible effects of his tumble into a photographer’s well in Saturday’s 12-4 loss to Atlanta.

Manager Rob Thomson said before Monday’s contest that Harper was good health-wise. In addition to the spill on Saturday, Harper was sidelined for more than a week during the latter part of spring training with lower back soreness.

Thomson said he didn’t consider resting Harper for another day with cool, rainy weather in the forecast on Monday. But Thomson made no promises for Tuesday, when the weather is expected to be even wetter and colder.

“I want to get him back out there tonight, and then we’ll see about tomorrow,” Thomson said. “The weather is not supposed to be good tomorrow.”

A two-time NL MVP, Harper is in his first full season playing first base after reconstructive elbow surgery forced him to move from right field.

The 31-year-old Harper was hitless in six at-bats this season and has walked twice with three strikeouts.


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