As expected, Ryan Howard will begin his rehab assignment this weekend. He'll play first for single-A Lakewood on Friday. If that goes well, he could spend Saturday and Sunday at triple-A Lehigh Valley before being activated Monday.

Should Howard, who has been out since spraining his left ankle Aug. 1 in Washington, return Monday, it will be exactly three weeks of recovery.

Friday should be a different sort of night for Howard. Prior to the game in Lakewood, the BlueClaws will retire Howard's No. 29 he wore while playing for the team in 2002.  He will be the first former BlueClaws player to have his number retired by the team.

The jersey retirement was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 2, but was postponed because the Phillies will now make up a previously postponed game in Colorado on that date.

With Lakewood in 2002, Howard hit .280 with 19 home runs and 87 RBI. It's the second time he returns to Lakewood for a rehab assignment -- he also played there in 2007.

When Howard returns Monday, Domonic Brown will probably head back to triple-A Lehigh Valley for a few weeks of regular playing time.