8/12/2013 6:46 P.M. ET
Amaro provides updates on Howard, Pettibone
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on Monday offered health updates on first baseman Ryan Howard and right-hander Jonathan Pettibone.
Howard is in Clearwater, Fla., recovering from surgery on his left knee, and Amaro said it is going "rather well."
Howard is not swinging a bat yet, but he is running on the anti-gravity treadmill at about 75 percent of his body weight, and he has lost about 15 to 20 pounds in the process.
"I have no idea when or if he's going to be back this year," Amaro said. "But he's doing really well. If he's 100 percent and we get a chance to have him do baseball activities and prepare, then that's a possibility. But if he's not, then there's no reason to bring him back."
Pettibone, who has been on the disabled list since July 29 with a strained right shoulder, will begin a rehab assignment on Thursday with Double-A Reading. He is scheduled to throw about 55 pitches.
Doc's first rehab start on tap for Thursday
ATLANTA -- Phillies fans looking for something to watch over the team's final 45 games might have something particularly interesting to see in a couple of weeks.
Roy Halladay is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Thursday with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Monday afternoon at Turner Field that Halladay might make just two rehab starts before rejoining the Phillies' rotation.
"If he goes in a straight line, I don't see him going more than two before he comes and pitches for us," Amaro said. "But a lot of it depends on how he feels. If he feels good, we'll progress him. There's a chance, an outside chance. I don't know what kind of chance, but there's a chance."
If Halladay, who is recovering from surgery on his right shoulder, progresses as expected, he could be back as early as Aug. 25, against the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park. Pitchers get 30 days for rehab assignments, meaning if there are no setbacks, Halladay would have to be back no later than Sept. 14.
Halladay threw a bullpen session on Monday in Clearwater, Fla., and Amaro called it "very good."
Halladay is scheduled to throw 75 to 80 pitches on Thursday.
Nix released by Phillies
ATLANTA -- The Phillies released outfielder Laynce Nix on Monday.
Nix had been designated for assignment last Tuesday, when the Phillies activated outfielder Domonic Brown from the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Nix, whom the Phillies signed to a two-year, $2.5 million contract in December 2011, cleared waivers and refused his assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
He hit .180 with a .486 OPS in 136 plate appearances this season.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.