On Thursday night, Ryan Howard confirmed his return to the Philadelphia Phillies lineup for Friday's game:
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, general manager Ruben Amaro said that as long as Howard tells the team he's ready to go on Friday, he'll see his first action since rupturing his left Achilles on his final at-bat of last season. Amaro said Howard would likely be able to play in two of the three weekend games against the Atlanta Braves. The struggling Phillies are badly in need of some thump in their lineup. Second baseman Chase Utley recently returned from his own injury to reclaim the 3-hole in the lineup, with Howard now ready to slide into the cleanup spot.