Ryan Howard to start rehab Friday

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies slugger Ryan Howard will start a rehab assignment Friday with the club's Class-A affiliate in Lakewood.

The All-Star first baseman has been sidelined with a sprained left ankle since Aug. 2.

Barring any setbacks, Howard will play at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday and could rejoin Philadelphia on Monday.

Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, was batting .292 with 23 homers and 81 RBIs when he got hurt.