Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 6/26/12

The big man might be back soon.

In a press release from Ruben Amaro and the Phillies:

First baseman Ryan Howard (left Achilles surgery) will return to Philadelphia tomorrow for functional testing on his left Achilles.  If he passes testing, he will begin a rehabilitation assignment with single-A Lakewood on Thursday, June 28.

The Phillies are just trying to outdo themselves right now. First, the news that Chase Utley is likely to return to the Phillies lineup on Wednesday night and now the announcement that Ryan Howard could be in line to take the field with his mates just after the all-star break has to make you breathe a little bit easier. I know, I know – they can’t pitch. But this has to provide a jolt to the fans and players included.

Pieces are starting to fall into place and that’s all you can ask for right now. If the Phillies can stay afloat, perhaps Utley and Howard can provide a boost.

If he does indeed start the rehab assignment on Thursday in Lakewood, he’ll have 20 days maximum to complete it, meaning he would line up to return to the Phillies on July 18. It’s possible he does return before that, however, if he does it would be on a post-all-star game road trip through Colorado and Los Angeles. The Phillies would return home on July 20 against San Francisco.

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