Thome, Martinez on rehab assignments

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Jim Thome Will begin his rehab assignment Friday at triple-A Clearwater. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

First baseman Jim Thome (lower back strain) and infielder Michael Martinez (fracture in right foot) will begin rehabilitation assignments tonight with Single-A Clearwater. Martinez hasn’t played all season. Thome went on the disabled list on May 2, retroactive to April 29.

Clearwater is home tonight against the Palm Beach Cardinals.

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Ryan Howard said things are progressing well but he gave no timetable when he updated his status on his website podcast (ryanhoward6.com).

“It’s really going very well,” Howard said. “I have been hitting in simulated games, still doing all my baseball stuff.”

The key when Howard is able to run at full speed and how well he can move.

“I am doing a little bit of running, light jogging and trying to get back to that,” he said. “The last thing to come is running and being able to step up and sprint.”

So he remains upbeat.

“Things are looking up and I am happy with the way things are and continue to work,” he said.

It’s great that Howard is optimistic, but really, would he or anybody go on a podcast and say things are not going well?

That is why discussions on his rehab won't necessarily coincide with a projection on his return. 

He had a serious Achilles injury, one that will require patience by the fans, the team and most importantly, Howard.

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