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Ibanez on track to return this weekend

Ibanez on track to return this weekend

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PHILADELPHIA -- Left fielder Raul Ibanez, who has made two rehab starts as he recovers from a strained left groin, is progressing well and remains on track to rejoin the Phillies this weekend.

"Right now, he's fine and kind of improving every day," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Ibanez spent his off-day Wednesday doing extra work in the cages after batting practice. On Thursday, he will likely join Triple-A Lehigh Valley on the road at Scranton-Wilkes Barre for his third and potentially final Minor League appearance. The Phillies will then determine whether he is ready to return.

The 37-year-old Ibanez went 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored in five innings for Double-A Reading on Monday, then 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored for Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.

"He's still getting into his groove," Amaro said. "He continues to test it."

Earning his first career All-Star selection, Ibanez was hitting .312 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs before landing on the disabled list June 18.

Amaro also said that right-handed reliever Clay Condrey, on the DL since June 23, retroactive to June 19, with a strained left oblique, needs to throw one more bullpen session before he can begin a rehab assignment. So far, the 33-year-old has thrown off a mound and is feeling good, but has not been subjected to game conditions.

Amaro was unsure whether Condrey would be ready immediately following the All-Star break. Philadelphia resumes its season July 16 at Florida.

"He'll probably need three to four outings," Amaro said. "He'll have been out a little while."

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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