Struggling rightfielder Jayson Werth will return to the Phillies' lineup Thursday for the series finale against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Werth had only three hits in his last 38 at-bats (with 17 strikeouts) before manager Charlie Manuel decided to rest him for Tuesday's game.

Ben Francisco was in the starting lineup in place of Werth on Wednesday before the game was postponed by rain. No makeup date was announced.

"I said I would rest [Werth] two days and he will be in the lineup" on Thursday, Manuel said.

Werth is batting .278 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs.

After Tuesday's game, the player and his manager seemed to be at odds over the reason for Werth's slump, but the two downplayed any friction on Wednesday.

Manuel told reporters Tuesday that he felt Werth was trying too hard. The outfielder can be a free agent at the end of the season.

When asked about Werth's contract situation on Tuesday, Manuel said, "I think something like that has to affect him. . . . He really got off to a tremendous start and when things started going a little bad for him, he thinks about it. But he's going to be fine."

After Tuesday's 10-8 win over the Marlins, Werth said, "Thinking about a contract is the last thing on my mind."

On Wednesday, Manuel was guarded in his comments. He said that he had spoken to Werth and that there was no rift between them.

In a brief talk with reporters in the clubhouse, Werth said the alleged disagreement was overblown by the media.

Manuel said he felt bad about the situation.

"I didn't mean to say nothing negative at all," Manuel said. "The only thing I want for him is to play good and have the best season he could possibly have."

Sitting in his office, Manuel reminded reporters that he had spoken positively about Werth on Tuesday.

"I think I was talking about how good he can be and how good he is and whatever," Manuel said. "That is all I got to say."

Perfect matchup

Both of Wednesday's scheduled starters will take the mound Thursday, with Phillies righthander Roy Halladay opposing Josh Johnson.

This is the first meeting between the two since May 29, when Halladay pitched a perfect game in a 1-0 victory in Florida.

Lost in the perfecto was that Johnson allowed just one unearned run in seven innings. When asked Wednesday whether he was looking forward to the rematch, Johnson was conflicted.

"Yes and no," he said. "It's tough when you face a guy like that, knowing you are in for a battle the whole night, but it is always fun playing against the best."

Injuries

Lefthander J.A. Happ (left forearm strain) will make a start for double-A Reading on Sunday. Happ threw three innings in his first rehab outing Tuesday for single-A Clearwater.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins (right calf strain) will work out with the Phillies on Thursday, then leave for Clearwater the next day. On Monday, he will begin a rehab assignment with Clearwater.

Lidge feeling good

Since his return to action May 31 after a stint on the disabled list because of right elbow inflammation, Phillies reliever Brad Lidge has pitched four scoreless innings over four games and earned two saves.

Lidge is pleased with the movement on his signature slider and says a key is his health. Last season, his struggles were well-documented when he had a 0-8 record, a 7.21 ERA and 11 blown saves.

In November, he had elbow surgery to repair a flexor tendon; in January, he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

Lidge said his knee is feeling fine and that has been the biggest reason for his slider's improvement.

"I can push off my back leg again, which allows me to have a little more balance and strength in my delivery and it allows me to have better control," Lidge said. "Once the control is there, you feel more confident in letting it rip, and I think when the control is not there, you are worried about placement as opposed to action on the pitch."

And that in turn has given Lidge more confidence.

"I feel the confidence thing comes from feeling healthy," he said. "Now that I feel my body is back to where it has been previous to last year, I feel good about it."

Phillies Notes:

Phils game rained out

Rain forced postponement of Wednesday night's game between the Phillies and Marlins. No makeup date was announced.

Next: Marlins (Johnson, 6-2) at Phillies (Halladay, 8-3), Thursday at 7:05 p.m.

TV: CSN.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.