Phillies slugger Bryce Harper (sore back) returns to lineup



TAMPA, Fla. — Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper was in the lineup for Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees after missing a week because of a sore lower back.

Harper hadn’t played in a spring training game since March 14. The first baseman took part in a simulated game Friday.

After 11 seasons as an outfielder, Harper moved to first base last year when he returned from Tommy John surgery, which he had in November 2022. Back as a designated hitter on May 2, Harper started playing first on July 21 and had 36 regular-season starts there, plus 13 in the playoffs.

Harper was slowed by back spasms last summer, coming out of an Aug. 10 game against the Washington Nationals then making only six starts in the field over the next 21 games.

Philadelphia opens the regular season Thursday at home against Atlanta.

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