Ryan Howard's return imminent?
Ryan Howard is scheduled to play nine innings at first base at Triple-A Lehigh Valley tonight.
There's a possibility his next game will be in Philadelphia.
Prior to the Phillies game in New York Thursday, manager Charlie Manuel said Howard will be re-evalauted following tonight's game with the IronPigs. He didn't rule out a return this weekend for the former MVP.
Neither did general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
"I guess it's possible," Amaro said. "But we'll see how he feels the next day or so."
Howard's bat looks major-league ready.
Howard has hit .471 (8-for-17) with a home run, two doubles with nine RBIs six rehab games with Low A Lakewood and Lehigh Valley. He's walked three times and struck out three times.
Amaro said he's been moving well on his feet, too. If Howard had a say, he'd clearly be in a Phillies uniform Friday.
"I think he thinks he's ready," Amaro said. "But we'll see. We're still talking with the docs and have people evaluating him every day."
Howard hasn't played back-to-back games in the field since beginning his rehab. Amaro said that was the plan for today and Friday.
But he also didn't say that it was necessary that that would have to take place in the minor leagues.
"Typically, he would," Amaro said of playing back-to-back while on his rehab. "But he's been progressing pretty good. We'll see how he feels after tonight."