Aaron Rowand is off crutches and walking around without a cast. He’s even hitting off a tee. But how long will it be before the heart and soul of the red hot Phillies is back in the outfield? From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Collision-prone centerfielder Aaron Rowand’s broken left foot has healed enough in a month that he not only got off crutches yesterday, but did not need to wear a hinged walking boot, as expected. Instead, he must wear a brace when he walks.

He hit off a tee yesterday, too, though he needed a tight tape job to do it.

Nonetheless, it would be a stretch to imagine that Rowand would be available for the Phillies’ playoff games if they make it. He has been doing exercises for weeks in a therapy pool and he even walked on the foot (in a immobilization boot) without crutches the past 3 days.

“The real test,” Rowand said, “will be running and cutting.”

That probably won’t come for a while. The Phillies will send him to Florida to get at-bats with the team’s Florida Instructional League squad.

Anybody who thinks that there’s any chance that Rowand won’t be in the Phillies lineup if they make the playoffs is crazy. He’s a lock to suit up. He wouldn’t miss the playoffs for anything. Even if every step is painful, he’ll be running full speed in the outfield. Bank on it.

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