PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are considered favorites to land Roy Halladay before the July 31 Trade Deadline.
But even if they acquire Halladay, they could add a relief pitcher as early as mid-August. Brett Myers, whose season appeared finished when he had surgery on his right hip June 4, said he is "way ahead of schedule" and will throw a bullpen session Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. Myers said Bryan Kelly, the hip specialist who performed the surgery in New York, told him earlier this month there is no reason he couldn't be back with the Phillies from mid to late August.
"I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to be back this year, even when they said my season was over," Myers said. "I had a feeling that everything was going to be OK."
If Myers returns, he will be pitching out of the bullpen.
"There's no time for me to get up to 100 pitches," he said. "I'm not going to help the team if I go four innings. That's not going to help anybody."
But Myers could help as a late-inning reliever. He picked up 21 saves for the Phillies in 2007, so he knows the bullpen.
"I'll do anything it takes to help," he said. "Do I want to help out when some of those guys go back-to-back? Yeah."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel loves "big arms" in the back of the bullpen -- pitchers who can throw in the mid-90s. Myers could be that guy. A popular theory inside the organization is that Myers' hip injury affected his velocity. He touched 92 mph on occasion this season, but he typically sat around 88-89 mph. If the hip is healthy, maybe Myers comes back throwing harder than before.
Myers thinks that is possible.
"I think occasionally after the hip would lock up on me, I definitely didn't try to throw the next one as hard as I threw that one," Myers said. "I think it had something to do with me backing off just a little bit. But I definitely think I can throw harder. Anytime you come out of the bullpen you're going to throw harder."
Myers said if his bullpen session goes well Saturday, he will fly home to Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday and report to Clearwater, Fla., on Monday.
Myers said he has been cleared to do everything except run and jump, and those activities could be coming soon. He said he has been long tossing for about a week.
"I'm not pushing it," he said. "I'm not trying to go faster than I should. I'm doing what my body is telling me to do. And my body is telling me to work a little harder. I've been working on a slideboard for a week and a half. I'm not even supposed to be doing that until the eighth week."
Myers hits the seven-week anniversary of his surgery Thursday. He hopes in another month he will be back on the mound for the Phillies.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.