Raul Ibanez, who was eligible to come off the disabled list yesterday, remains sidelined by a groin strain.

The Phillies leftfielder was scheduled to appear in a rehabilitation game with double-A Reading on Wednesday, and then on Thursday, but he was held out of action. The Phils have said they want him to play a few minor-league games before activating him.

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Ibanez took batting practice and fielded fly balls last night at Citizens Bank Park before the Phillies won their series opener against the New York Mets. There was a simple reason he didn't begin the rehab assignment.

"He still feels something in there," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said before the game. "What that something is, I can't be too specific because I can't tell you what it is. But as long as he is feeling something in there and he doesn't feel comfortable and our medical people don't feel comfortable having him go out to play, there is no reason to risk it."

Ibanez met last night with physician Michael Ciccotti, the Phillies' director of medical services.

"There is no set plan, and we will see how things are progressing and keep reevaluating, but it's looking good," Ibanez said after the game.

Before the game, in a brief session with reporters, he was asked whether he still felt something in his groin after the pregame workout.

"It's feeling way better, but of course you are going to always feel something," Ibanez said.

He said he was encouraged that he had made progress.

"It's significantly, way better this week compared to last week," Ibanez said.

The 37-year-old is batting .312 with 22 home runs and 59 RBIs. As of Monday, when the latest totals were released, he led National League outfielders with 2,970,139 votes for the July 14 All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Tomorrow, 32 of the 33 players on the American and National League teams will be announced.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who will manage the National League team, said he had not thought too much about Ibanez's involvement in the All-Star Game.

"There will come a time when I definitely have to talk to Raul about where he is, and we'll talk of the All-Star Game," Manuel said. "Hopefully, he will be back playing before then."

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