Phillies say Ryan Howard is improving, Hunter Pence in lineup

The Phillies hope Ryan Howard is back to starting baseball activities soon, according to a release from the team.

The Phillies issued a two-paragraph release from general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.:

 "After seeing the wound specialist in Philadelphia yesterday, Ryan Howard’s wound has gotten smaller and is healing.  We’ve been advised to limit his activities for one more week to allow it to continue to heal.  We hope that he will be able to re-start his baseball activities thereafter.
Additionally, Hunter Pence will undergo a precautionary MRI on his left shoulder (non-throwing) here in Phoenix.  We hope to have the results later this afternoon."
Howard suffered an Achilles tendon injury in last year's playoffs and then had an infection after the surgery that required another surgery this spring. He will still have to go get into shape and then play in a rehab assignment in the minors, so his return is still a ways off -- but at least it's in sight.

Pence, meanwhile, sat out Monday's game with a shoulder injury. He is in the lineup for Tuesday night, after undergoing the MRI, so he must be OK.

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