Ruiz says he's close to returning; Phils cautious

Ruiz says he's close to returning; Phils cautious

PHILADELPHIA -- Carlos Ruiz took batting practice on the field with his teammates on Wednesday for the first time since plantar fasciitis in his left foot landed him on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 4.

Ruiz could start running early next week, but manager Charlie Manuel wants to make sure his All-Star catcher is healthy before he comes back. Ruiz was having a career year before the injury, boasting a .335 average with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs.

"I expect when he comes back and he runs, I don't want him to have a relapse. Because [with] what he's got, that can be very possible," Manuel said before Wednesday's game against the Reds. "He's got to be totally healed, as well."

The original diagnosis was that Ruiz would be sidelined four to six weeks, meaning he would return in early to mid-September. Ruiz said on Monday that he was feeling good and felt like he was close to returning.