Hamels on track to rejoin rotation Friday

Hamels on track to rejoin rotation Friday

ST. LOUIS -- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels reported no ill effects after going through conditioning drills in the Busch Stadium outfield early Monday afternoon, and appears set to return to the rotation Friday night against the Braves in Philadelphia.

Hamels, who hasn't pitched since spraining his left ankle Tuesday against Washington, will throw a final bullpen session Tuesday before the Phillies finish a two-game series against the Cardinals.

"He's just getting his work in," said manager Charlie Manuel. "We definitely expect him to be ready Friday."

It's been a rough start to the season for the Phillies' ace, who has battled a series of nagging injuries since missing his Opening Day start on April 5 with inflammation in his left elbow.

Hamels is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in four starts, giving up 27 hits and five home runs in 17 1/3 innings.

B.J. Rains is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.