Chase Utley is expected to rejoin the Phillies tomorrow, and almost on cue, here's some more good news on the injury front. Multiple beats are reporting Ryan Howard will be in Philadelphia on Wednesday as well, only he'll be having testing performed on his Achilles.
If Howard passes, he could begin his rehab assignment in Lakewood on Thursday.
"If" is obviously a very important qualifier in that statement, but "if" all goes well, Howard would be rejoining the big club sometime in July after the All-Star break.
The Phillies have sorely missed Howad's bat in the lineup, whether it's the timely RBIs, the protection his presence provides over other hitters, or simply the threat of clearing the bases on any given swing. That said, it's not a given he can come in and be that guy right away given his injury.
Still, it looks like this team is going to need all hands on deck if they are going to claw their way into post-season contention. If nothing else, it keeps an air of excitement around the team that has seldom existed on the field this year.
Performing artist Sevyn Streeter was scheduled to sing the national anthem Wednesday night before the Sixers' season opener but says she was replaced because of the jersey she was wearing.
Jemila Worthy, a member of the Sixers' dance team, sang the anthem instead.
Streeter says change was made because she was wearing a jersey with the words "We Matter" displayed on the front.
"I'm at the 76ers game to sing the national anthem," she said in a video on Twitter, "and the organization is telling me that I can't because I'm wearing a 'We Matter' jersey."
The Sixers responded with the following statement:
"The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community."
In the Sixers' preseason finale against the Heat in Miami, Denasia Lawrence performed the anthem while wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt and kneeling on one knee (see story). She said she did it to protest racial oppression.
Streeter is the latest to use the national anthem as a stage to protest racism and social injustice. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the well-documented movement by refusing to stand during the anthem, and various other professional athletes have made their own statements.
In a protest planned by safety Malcolm Jenkins, a handful of Eagles raised their fists during the anthem before the team's Week 2 game against the Bears on Monday Night Football.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.