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Healthy word from John's Roast Pork

John Bucci is coming back full time, and his cheesesteak will get a national nod.

Four years after taking a sabbatical as he fought leukemia, sandwich guru John Bucci Jr. of John's Roast Pork is making his return to full-time work on Monday, Aug. 6.

"It's a beautiful thing," Bucci told me, referring to the love and support that he and his family - who worked the stand at Snyder Avenue and Weccacoe Street in South Philly - received during his bone-marrow transplant, his treatment, and recovery.

Craig LaBan wrote about the start of the ordeal, in 2008.

During a conversation, Bucci dropped a bombshell: His cheesesteak with sharp provolone, long hots, mayo and ketchup will be included as a "wild card" contestant in the finals of the Adam Richman series Best Sandwich in America, in which the Man vs. Food guy traveled the country in search of good sandwiches.

In June, when Richman chose the roast pork sandwich from DiNic's in Reading Terminal Market as the show's Northeast regional winner, I heard sundry griping that John's Roast Pork had been snubbed.

Now, it turns out, producers had John's up their sleeve.

"DiNic's should be proud, too," Bucci told me. "Two [shops] from one city. That's awesome."

Showtime is 9 p.m. Aug. 15 on the Travel Channel.