Bryce Harper will be activated for Friday's game. Jun 13, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (3) hits an RBI double during the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper dominated Minor League pitching during the first two games of his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. That’s all that the Philadelphia Phillies needed to see from the two-time National League MVP.

Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson announced on Thursday that the Phillies will activate Harper for Friday’s game against their cross-state rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Harper is one of baseball’s best, most dynamic players. So, the news of his return was music to the ears of not just Phillies fans but the collective MLB world.

Harper will be thrown immediately into a playoff race. The Phillies were hovering around .500 when Harper got hurt and it seemed like that injury could derail the season. Instead, Philadelphia has rallied.

Heading into Thursday’s action, Philadelphia is 69-55, good enough for the second Wild Card spot in the National League. The Phillies are two games (three in the loss column) ahead of the San Diego Padres and are 3.5 games clear of the Milwaukee Brewers, who are currently the first team out of the Wild Card picture. Philadelphia is looking to secure a trip to the postseason for the first time since 2011.

A season ago, Harper hit .309/.429/.615 with 35 home runs en route to his second National League MVP Award. At the time of his injury, he was hitting .318/.385/.599 with 15 home runs.

Harper last played in the majors on June 25. In a game against the San Diego Padres, he was hit by a pitch and fractured his left thumb.

[Todd Zolecki on Twitter]

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