Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ryan Howard likely to return in three weeks

While most of the eyes of the Phillies organization are on Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where Chase Utley will play for the IronPigs in what is likely his last test before being activated off the DL, a press release from the organization likely diverted some of those eyeballs Tuesday.

Via a press release, Phils general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Ryan Howard is headed back up north, and possibly, for good.

Howard, who had left Achilles surgery in October, will be examined by the medical staff in Philadelphia on Wednesday. 

"If he passes testing," Amaro said. "He will begin a rehabilitation assignment with single-A Lakewood on Thursday, June 28."

So take our your handy Phillies pocket calendar out and circle July 18. When an official rehab assignment starts, so does the clock on the player's return.

Position players can't spend any more than 20 days on a rehab assignment. So if Howard plays in Lakewood Thursday, he will be activated from the disabled list for the first time this season on or before July 18.

Charlie Manuel said he spoke to Howard on the phone yesterday:

"He’s been doing real good. He’s looking forward to when he can come back," Manuel said. "He's feeling real good. 

"He told me that when he runs, he’s got a little limp. But he says ‘I want to play and I feel like I can play. I don’t know if I’ll be where you want me to be or not.” But at the same time, he definitely has to be able to go play, to be able to do some things. To move, things like that. He feels like he’s getting there. He’s very positive abut where he’s at when I talked to him."

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