Ryan Howard nearing return for Phillies but out until post All-Star break

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

Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies

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.