07/08/09 6:40 PM ET
Ibanez on track to return this weekend
Phils outfielder likely to play in Triple-A game Thursday
By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com
"Right now, he's fine and kind of improving every day," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Ibanez spent his off-day Wednesday doing extra work in the cages after batting practice. On Thursday, he will likely join Triple-A Lehigh Valley on the road at Scranton-Wilkes Barre for his third and potentially final Minor League appearance. The Phillies will then determine whether he is ready to return.
The 37-year-old Ibanez went 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored in five innings for Double-A Reading on Monday, then 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored for Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.
"He's still getting into his groove," Amaro said. "He continues to test it."
Earning his first career All-Star selection, Ibanez was hitting .312 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs before landing on the disabled list June 18.
Amaro also said that right-handed reliever Clay Condrey, on the DL since June 23, retroactive to June 19, with a strained left oblique, needs to throw one more bullpen session before he can begin a rehab assignment. So far, the 33-year-old has thrown off a mound and is feeling good, but has not been subjected to game conditions.
Amaro was unsure whether Condrey would be ready immediately following the All-Star break. Philadelphia resumes its season July 16 at Florida.
"He'll probably need three to four outings," Amaro said. "He'll have been out a little while."
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.