Ruiz's return not guaranteed

"It felt like a knife in the back of my foot," Carlos Ruiz said of his ailing foot. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

ATLANTA — Every other day, Carlos Ruiz tests the partially torn muscle in his right foot by running. "Nice and easy," Ruiz said Saturday after catching a Kyle Kendrick bullpen session. There is but one month to play in a lost season and Ruiz remains steadfast in his goal of returning.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is not so convinced it's the best idea.

"I hope we can activate him," Amaro said. "Really, it depends on what the risk is."

The GM made his stance clear in a Friday conversation with Ruiz. It's not that the Phillies do not want Ruiz, arguably the team's MVP in 2012, back in the lineup. Instead, they value caution.

"I got his point," Ruiz said. "At the same time, I feel like I have to try. I have to try until the last day. It's not like I'm going to give up. But yeah, I got his point. We'll see. He said there is no pressure to come back. Try to be 100 percent and that's what we're doing right now."

When the tear was originally discovered Aug. 3, Ruiz was expected to miss four to six weeks. The team has suggested an early September return is possible. He would have to be activated without any game action because the organization's minor-league affiliates will be finished playing before Ruiz could go for a rehab.

Even while running with regular rest, Ruiz said he still experiences pain in the foot. If he feels something, he usually stops.

"I don't try to push it too much," Ruiz said.

That's why Amaro is hedging on a return.

"It's a risk-reward assessment," Amaro said. "I know he wants to play. I know he was uspet when it happened. I know he's worked hard to be in the position to be activated. But we'll see."

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