The long road to recovery is starting to come closer and closer to an end. After Chase Utley made his return with a triumphant home run in his first at-bat of the season, it was announced that Ryan Howard’s return was around the corner as well.
Howard began a rehab assignment with Single-A Lakewood last night. He went 2-for-5 at the plate with two singles and two RBIs.
Howard’s first rehab game starts a 20-day clock for his return to the Phillies. Barring any setbacks, Howard must return by July 18.
Howard will technically miss 14 games with the All-Star Break falling mid-way through Howard’s rehab. The Phillies have only three home games before July 18, all before the All-Star Break. If Howard is to return early, he could be back in time for the Phillies first series after the All-Star Break against the Rockies starting on July 13.
Howard’s rehab comes right on the news of Utley’s return. Also on Wednesday, Roy Halladay was throwing with more intensity. He could throw off the mound in a bullpen session this weekend.
But after seeing Ryan Howard in so much pain on the field as the final image of 2011, it’s good to hear we can soon replace it with a more familiar image of Howard. That powerful swing will be back in the lineup soon.