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Ryan Howard set to begin rehab assignment on Thursday

Jun 27, 2012, 10:29 PM EDT

ryan howard ap AP

The positive news keeps rolling in for the Phils.

John Finger of reports that first baseman Ryan Howard has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Thursday night at Single-A Lakewood. He’ll merely DH at first and may have to ease into full games. But it’s a significant step in what has been a long rehab process.

Howard was placed on the disabled list at the end of spring training with a ruptured Achilles tendon that he suffered while making the final out of the Phils’ 2011 NLDS loss to the Cardinals. He’ll likely spend more than three weeks playing games in the minors before returning to the big-league lineup shortly after the All-Star break. Assuming there are no setbacks.

The 32-year-old first baseman batted .253/.346/.488 with 33 home runs and 116 RBI in 644 plate appearances last season. He’s under contract with the Phillies through the 2016 campaign at a whopping $115 million.

  1. redguy12588 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    The phillies are going to be absolutely terrible over the next 5 years. No farm system, and hamstrung by awful contracts. I love it.

    • thesixersbench - Jun 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      You’re delusional. Besides Howard and Lee, which big contracts are you alluding to? Halladay’s could be up after this year – Utley has one beyond this. Victorino’s expires after this year.

      You speak as if the guys who earned those contracts aren’t valuable. Howard will definitely have to “re-prove” himself, but teams would absolutely be interested in trading for Cliff Lee if they needed another SP for the stretch run.

  2. alefty - Jun 28, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    Go back to bed. They are playing it out this year and your team is about to get “reeled” in. Five years from now, the way these clubs spend money, some teams will not even be in the same city.

  3. jucam1 - Jun 28, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    It’s cute that you think a team that has owned the NL East and most of the NL for the last 5 years aren’t gonna be back at the top by next season…. The Phils will be the owners of this division and a perennial contender to win it all for the next 10 years…. You enjoy it little man, if you need me to detail it out for you I can, small, slow people like you typically need assistance with the truth…. But hang in there little guy, i’m sure your hate will take you far….

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