Flushing, NY – Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been sidelined all season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, is likely to be activated off the disabled list Friday night.
Howard has not played for the Phillies since suffering the Achilles injury on October 8, the final contest of a playoff series defeat to eventual World Series champion St. Louis.
Howard went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of walks for Triple-A Lehigh Valley Friday night in a 7-2 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"Excited to be back in Philly tomorrow," Howard said via Twitter following the game.
The Phillies, who open a weekend set at home against Atlanta, enter Friday 37-47, which is in last place, 13 games behind NL East-leading Washington.
The five-time defending division champions not only have plenty of ground to make up against the Nationals, but also find themselves 8 1/2 games behind the second wild card spot in the NL.
Last season, Howard belted 33 home runs and drove in 116 while compiling a .253 batting average, his second-lowest of his career. The 2006 NL MVP and 2005 NL Rookie of the Year, Howard would replace Ty Wigginton, who has spent most of the season as the starter at first base.