Polanco has been on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation since June 26. Manuel is hopeful he can rejoin the Phillies within two weeks.
"He'll probably play a game or two, and then we'll bring him back, see where he's at," Manuel said. "It depends on how he feels of course, but so far he says he's feeling good and ready to go."
Polanco was batting a team-high .318 with five home runs and 27 RBIs for the Phillies this season. Manuel said he will do infield work and start taking batting practice down in Clearwater before playing any rehab games.
When he does return, Polanco, who won two Gold Gloves as a second baseman, could be moved back to second in the absence of Chase Utley. But Manuel said at this point he's leaning toward keeping him at third.
"When Polly signed on here, he signed on as a third baseman, I'd like to keep him there the majority of the time," Manuel said. "I think flopping him around, I don't know if that's good for him."
Two other injured Phillies relievers, Chad Durbin (right hamstring) and Antonio Bastardo (left elbow ulnar neuritis), are expected to play in a rehab game for Clearwater on Saturday.