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04/18/08 10:24 PM ET

Upbeat Victorino headed for rehab stint

Phillies center fielder working his way back from calf strain

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino will bring his bundle of energy to extended Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., where he will begin a rehab assignment for his strained right calf on Saturday.

Victorino spent Friday afternoon hitting in the cage at Citizens Bank Park and running in the outfield, and said everything is working properly.

He'll work out for a few days and take at-bats in a structured setting. Barring any setbacks, the team will move Victorino to Double-A Reading for a game April 25, then Lehigh Valley for games on April 26-27.

He hopes to be ready to rejoin the Phillies for the April 29 game against the Padres.

"What I do [on the rebab] is get comfortable again and see how my leg feels," Victorino said. "But I feel good. I jogged today. I haven't opened it up yet. I've got down there to work on that."

Victorino feels so good that he likely could've avoided the disabled list had Jimmy Rollins not also been hobbled by a sprained left ankle. The Phillies couldn't afford to be down two players, so they added Chris Snelling and placed Victorino on the disabled list.

"With both of us going down, somebody had to [go on the DL]," Victorino said. "Obviously they felt like [Rollins] was going to be ready earlier, which is obvious because he was able to hit in games. I definitely feel good and feel like I'm headed in the right direction."

Unlike last season, when Victorino's had a similar injury -- albeit in a different place -- the Phillies don't expect this to linger.

"We don't think it's a long-term issue for him," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "His calf, from last year's situation, he's healed from that. It's not the same area, but we wanted to be cautious and make sure he's 100 percent."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.