The Phillies announced via Twitter earlier on Friday that Howard has been activated off the DL. The word from Todd Zolecki of MLB.com is that Howard is in the No. 4 spot in Charlie Manuel's lineup for Friday night's contest against the Atlanta Braves.
Howard hasn't played in a major league ballgame since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, when he famously tore his Achilles tendon on a groundout that clinched the series for the Cardinals. He's been on the disabled list since the start of the season.
Howard's power has been missed. The Phillies have only hit 83 home runs through their first 84 games, and they rank in the middle of the pack in runs scored.
In a perfect world, Howard will provide the production that the Phillies have been missing all season. In an even more perfect world, he'll help them make a comeback in the NL East. The Phillies enter the weekend 37-47 and 13 games behind the Washington Nationals, and the slightest breeze could push them towards a deadline season fire sale.
There's no telling what's going to happen, but I have a few rational predictions for how all of this is going to play out. Start the slideshow whenever you're ready for some serious prophesying.
Note: All stats come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.