Thursday, October 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Howard swings, takes grounders

Under dark skies, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley took the field at Citizens Bank Park.

Howard swings, takes grounders

Ryan Howard fielded ground balls and took swings for the first time since injuring his ankle. (Michael S. Wirtz/Staff file photo)
Ryan Howard fielded ground balls and took swings for the first time since injuring his ankle. (Michael S. Wirtz/Staff file photo)

Under dark skies, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley took the field at Citizens Bank Park.

OK, so it was hours before Thursday's game against the Dodgers, but it's a step in the right direction for the Phillies.

Howard took grounders at first base for the first time since spraining his left ankle Aug. 1 in Washington. He still moved with a slight limp. Later, Howard took swings in the indoor batting cage.

"I feel all right," Howard said.

More coverage
 
The Phillies Zone: Brown stays, but likely not for long
 
High Cheese: Victorino returns; Brown stays
 
Hofmann: Oswalt does his part, other aces must too
Photos: Phils 2, Dodgers 0
Buy Phillies tickets
 
Fantasy baseball: Play today, win cash!

The first baseman has long targeted Aug. 17 -- the first day he can come off the disabled list -- as his return date. That remains a possibility, but it could take longer.

Some swelling still remains in the ankle.

"He's doing real well," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's coming along really good. It's just a matter of time."

Utley was cleared to begin hitting and do normal throwing Wednesday by the doctor who performed right thumb surgery July 1. He remains on target for a return late this month or early September.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected