LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) -Ryan Howard is expected to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta on Friday, after completing a rehab assignment with Class A Lakewood.
Howard, who went on the 15-day DL May 10 due to a strained left quadriceps, went 0-for-3 Thursday night. He was 2-for-6 over two-games with the BlueClaws with a homer, double, two walks, four RBIs and two strikeouts.
The left-handed power hitter's return to the Phillies coincides with the team's possible loss of closer Brett Myers, who suffered a right shoulder strain against Florida on Wednesday. Myers flew to the team's spring training complex for an MRI on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day.
After starting as the DH Wednesday, Howard looked comfortable at first base Thursday night. He made an impressive stretch in the fifth to secure a 6-4-3 double play.
At the plate, Howard got jammed and popped to center against right-hander Don Levinski his first time up, then walked in the third. Howard struck out looking in the fifth and bounced into a 4-6-3 double play in the seventh, but ran hard down the line with no apparent problems.
The Phils did not say whether Howard will be in the lineup against Tim Hudson when the Phils start a three-game series against the Braves, but he was scheduled to fly to Atlanta on Friday.
Howard said Wednesday that he was ready to face big league pitching.
``I was anxious to get back the day I went on the DL,'' he said. ``I'm ready to get back, as soon as possible.''
Howard, who led the majors with 58 home runs and 149 RBI in 2006, is hitting .204 with six homers, 23 RBI and 39 strikeouts in 27 games.

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