MIAMI - Roy Halladay has placed no expectations on a return from a strained muscle behind his right shoulder, but there is no soreness and he has turned his focus to rebuilding arm strength.

His return could be a matter of weeks, perhaps shortly after the all-star break.

"I'd like to be back as soon after that as I can," Halladay said. "This whole process we've been going day-to-day, so there's not really like a [target date]. Everything has gone really good."

Halladay threw a 33-pitch bullpen session with breaking balls Friday. His next throwing session will be in New York, and it could be an extended one to simulate game action. He plans to throw, sit down like a break between innings, then throw again.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee suggested Halladay could skip an official rehabilitation assignment. Halladay echoed that, saying he likely will go to Clearwater, Fla., during the break and throw more extended bullpen sessions there. The righthander also could appear in a single-A game there.

"I haven't been sore yet," Halladay said. "We'll keep advancing it and get as close to getting in a game as I can."

Halladay categorized the strength in his shoulder as "real good" and said he has no symptoms of the latissimus dorsi strain he suffered May 27.

The Phillies obviously need Halladay. Since his injury, their starting rotation has a 5.09 ERA, which ranks 24th in baseball.

A return in mid-July appears realistic.

"It's just a matter of really getting the pitches back up," Halladay said.

Qualls a Yankee

The Phillies sold righthander Chad Qualls to the New York Yankees.

Qualls, who was designated for assignment last week, was owed about $575,000. It's likely the Phillies will pay a majority of that.

Howard plays the field

Ryan Howard will continue his rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley on Monday when the IronPigs host the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at 7:05 p.m.

The big first baseman, rehabbing a torn left achilles tendon, went 0 for 2 in five innings in his IronPigs debut on Sunday.

Howard also played in the field, making four catches on plays at the bag and fielding one grounder.

Pridie grateful

Three weeks into spring training, Jason Pridie was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball because of a second positive test for a recreational drug. He was released by Oakland and without a job until June 13, when the Phillies signed him to a minor-league deal.

He was back in the majors Sunday.

Pridie hit .370 in 46 at-bats with triple-A Lehigh Valley. His wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a son, on Wednesday. After playing one inning Saturday night with the IronPigs, he was removed with marching orders for Miami.

"I'd say it's the best week of my life so far," Pridie said.

Pridie, 28, can play all three outfield positions but is a natural centerfielder. He hit .231 in 101 games with the New York Mets last season. He lined to left as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning Sunday.

Extra bases

Baltimore inherited the remainder of Jim Thome's contract, which saved the Phillies about $600,000. . . . The Phillies shuffled their rotation and will skip Kyle Kendrick with Monday's day off. Vance Worley will start Tuesday in New York, followed by Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Kendrick is likely to start against Atlanta during the weekend.