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Philadelphia Phillies slugger and two-time National League MVP Bryce Harper recently achieved the fastest return to action after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Harper made his return to the Philly lineup on Tuesday in Los Angeles, and Friday's contest against the Red Sox is his first game in front of the home crowd since Game 5 of last year's World Series. 

Needless to say, Harper received a hero's welcome. The Citizens Bank Park crowd gave him a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat:

Earlier this season Cody Bellinger of the Cubs was dinged with a pitch-clock violation after he stepped out to acknowledge the ovation he received upon his return to Dodger Stadium. The Phillies were able to head such awkwardness with Harper off at the pass by asking MLB for special dispensation. As a one-off, MLB has said yes to that request: 

MLB previously denied Harper's request to receive extra time in order to put on an elbow brace when he's on the bases so as to protect his surgically repaired limb during head-first slides. As any batsman will tell you, 1 for 2 isn't bad. 

As for Harper the hitter, he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first game back, but on Wednesday he tallied three hits, including a double, and a pair of walks. Vintage form, that. The Phillies need more of that from their best hitter, as they're coming off a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers and have slipped to 15-17 on the season. 

Friday's tilt marks the start of the five-game homestand for Harper and Phillies that includes three against Boston and a pair of games against the Blue Jays