PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies activated outfielder Domonic Brown from the disabled list and have optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Brown fractured his right hamate in March. He played well recently on a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater. Brown has not played much since last summer, so he could see plenty of action with the IronPigs.

The Phillies have no timetable to call him up to the big leagues. It could be quickly if he plays well and they need an offensive boost. But it could be a while if the Phillies' corner outfielders heat up and there is no immediate need.

"He'll let us know by playing when he's ready," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

"I'm not going to bring Domonic Brown up just to bring Domonic Brown," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We're going to bring Domonic Brown up when he's ready to play in the big leagues and he's ready to contribute."

The Phillies also activated infielder Brian Bocock, who missed time due to a fractured wrist bone. He is also headed to Lehigh Valley.

Utley plays three innings in simulated game

PHILADEPLHIA -- Phillies second baseman Chase Utley took a relatively significant step forward in his rehab on Sunday.

Utley, who has been out all season with a knee injury, played in a simulated game at Citizens Bank Park. Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee threw batting practice to Utley, who also ran the bases and fielded ground balls. He played roughly three innings, which means that after he hit and fielded he rested in the dugout for roughly 10 minutes.

"We'll find out how he feels tomorrow," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "If he feels OK tomorrow then we'll try it again Tuesday. He's making progress. It's good. If he comes out of it OK then it's good."

Could Utley be headed to Florida soon to continue his rehab?

"I guess it's possible, but we're not putting any timetable on it," Amaro said. "It's literally still just a day-to-day thing."

The Phillies have said that they hope Utley can return before the end of the month. If he keeps progressing that seems realistic. But Utley has not seen live pitching since early in Spring Training when he faced Phillies pitchers, so he will need some time to get game ready.

"He's going to have to get at-bats, there's no question about it," Amaro said. "He hasn't even really gone through Spring Training. He literally hasn't had any live at-bats."

How many at-bats remains to be seen. Amaro said he will discuss that with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

"We're getting a little ahead of ourselves," Amaro said. "I just want to get him on the field."

Oswalt expected to rejoin team on Thursday

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt is expected to rejoin the team on Thursday.

Oswalt has been home in Mississippi after tornadoes destroyed a family home. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Sunday that if Oswalt throws a bullpen session on Thursday, he could start Saturday against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

"He's doing OK," Amaro said. "He's had some damage and stuff to deal with, but health-wise everybody is OK."

Oswalt had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday against Washington, but his absence caused no problems within the rotation. Because of a day off on Monday, the Phillies simply will move up every starter one day. That means Cole Hamels will pitch Tuesday, Vance Worley will pitch Wednesday, Roy Halladay will pitch Thusday and Cliff Lee will pitch Friday.

Worth noting

• Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (mildly strained lower back) has improved, according to Amaro. But Ruiz is not ready to play and it is unclear when he will be. But they are hoping that he can play sometime this week, possibly Tuesday.

• Right-hander Joe Blanton (medial impingement in right elbow) is scheduled to play catch on Tuesday.

• Left-hander J.C. Romero threw a bullpen session on Sunday and said it went well. He will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Lakewood. Romero (strained right calf) said he could be activated on Wednesday.

• Closer Brad Lidge (strained right posterior rotator cuff) played catch on Saturday and felt good. He will continue to play catch.

• Phillies outfielder Ross Gload was not with the team Sunday. He was attending his grandfather's funeral.