The Phillies are getting second baseman Chase Utley back this week, and it appears they're close to having their infield's right side whole again quite soon. According to a press release, first baseman Ryan Howard will be in Philadelphia Wednesday for "functional testing" on his recovering left Achilles tendon. If he passes the tests, his rehabilitation assignment will begin Thursday with Class-A Lakewood.
Rehab stints can last as long as 30 days, but Utley's will conclude -- assuming no setbacks Tuesday night -- after 10 games, for example. It's different for every player, but there's a rather obvious date sitting right in front of us, concerning Howard's possible return. The Phillies' first game back from the All-Star break is Friday, July 13. That would give Howard two weeks and one day after the beginning of his rehab stint. This is pure speculation, but it would be a natural return time for Howard, if he doesn't suffer a setback before then.
Howard, 32, hit .253/.346/.488 with 33 homers and 116 RBI last season for the Phillies. He's averaged 44 home runs and 133 RBI per season for the past six seasons.