Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz will begin a rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Clearwater on Thursday, the team announced.
According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Ruiz could return to the lineup as soon as next week.
Ruiz has been on the disabled list with June 27 with a concussion. The 35-year-old was hitting .257/.363/.357 with a pair of home runs in 272 plate appearances before landing on the DL.
For his career, Ruiz is a .273/.359/.407 hitter, but in recent years he's developed into one of the Phillies' leaders. He entered free agency this past winter but re-signed with the team on a three-year, $26 million deal with a team option that could keep him in Philadelphia through the 2017 season.
The Phillies are facing a rebuild and could trade their veteran players in the coming weeks, but Ruiz appears to be one player who the organization has little interest in potentially moving due to his leadership and familiarity with the pitching staff.
- Aaron Somers