Marc Weinreich
Wednesday June 27th, 2012

Ryan Howard could return to the Phillies in a game on July 13 if his rehab assignment goes as planned. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Ryan Howard is almost healthy enough to play baseball again but won't be in action for the Phillies until after the All-Star Break, which begins July 9, according to Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com:

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.

Howard hasn't played since tearing his Achilles tendon in the NLDS last season against the St. Louis Cardinals. The rehab assignment could last up to 30 days but the Phillies could have him back as early as Friday, July 13, the team's first game after the All-Star break. The Phillies also said in the press release that they expect second baseman Chase Utley back by the end of June, perhaps as early as Wednesday. Utley has been out this season with a chronic knee issue.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.