Phillies activate Ryan Howard from the disabled list

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According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies have activated first baseman Ryan Howard from the 15-day disabled list.

This announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise, as Howard just kicked off a minor league rehab assignment with Single-A Lakewood last night, going 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. He was originally expected to join Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday for a possible return on Monday against the Astros. Guess he’s feeling pretty good.

Howard has been on the disabled list since August 2 due to a left ankle sprain. The 30-year-old first baseman returns to a .292/.356/.528 batting line to go along with 23 homers and 81 RBI.

Assuming he’ll get to Philadelphia in time for tonight’s game, the Phillies will finally be at full strength for the stretch run. And at just 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves, I’d say they’ve done a tremendous job of staying in this thing.

By the way, Dom Brown is still with the team. Ross Gload was placed on the disabled list in a corresponding roster move.