Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard made his first rehabilitation start Thursday for the Class-A Lakeland BlueClaws, and it has to be deemed a success. For one, he didn't suffer any physical setbacks.
"Right now, it feels great," Howard said of his Achilles' tendon (pressofatlanticcity.com). "I do expect there to be some soreness, but I don't think it will be a lot."
Also, Howard had a good day at the plate. He went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth that cut his team's deficit to one.
"It was fun to be a part of this and get back into game-on-the-line type of situations," Howard said (pressofatlanticcity.com). "My focus was to get at least one run home and let Big Duff take care of the rest."
"Big Duff" would be Chris Duffy, who followed Howard's sac-fly with a game-winning single.
Rehab assignments are limited to 20 days, so Howard's clock is started. The target date is assumed to be the Phillies first game back from the All-Star break, which is Friday, July 13.
The Phillies have said that Howard will play first base again Friday night for Lakeland.