PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is back, but it remains to be seen how much he will play.

Ruiz had been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot before the Phillies activated him on Friday. The Phillies plan to ease Ruiz back slowly, using him as a pinch-hitter this weekend before working him in as a defensive replacement. He could start once or twice a week once he gets comfortable.

"We definitely want to be careful with him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "What he's got is something that if he's on his feet for a long time, if he's moving a lot, he gets real tight."

But the Phillies said there is little risk playing Ruiz the remainder of the season.

"If it was going to hurt him, we wouldn't do it," Manuel said. "But they feel like it's not going to hurt him."

Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock concurred.

"I think we're very comfortable with the fact that I don't think he's going to do any further damage," he said. "But he hasn't played, so I think it's just something that we're going to ... hopefully he can come out and contribute a little bit and get back in a rhythm and be ready to go for next year. I think it's important that he gets back out on the field."

And why is that?

"I think for him, and I think he still has a chance to help us," Proefrock said. "As long of a shot as it is, we're not out of this. He can contribute. He's an important part of our offense."

"I know everybody was concerned that maybe I was done for the year, but I was thinking that I would try really hard to come back, because I want to finish," Ruiz said. "Now I'm happy that I got activated. I'm ready to go. I want to finish the season. I want to go home happy. I told myself I have to finish playing and then relax and be ready for next year. I was really sad in last six weeks. Now I have the chance to get back in the lineup."

Polanco shelved for rest of season

PHILADELPHIA -- Placido Polanco has played his last game with the Phillies in 2012.

The Phillies placed him on the disabled list before Friday's series opener against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. He said his back has not improved, and he will not play again this season.

Polanco has a $5.5 million mutual option or a $1 million buyout on his contract for 2013, but the Phillies will not pick up their side of the option. But Polanco said he remains hopeful he can play next season, maybe even with the Phillies.

"I'm going to begin a rehab to give myself a chance to try to come back next year," he said. "If I rehab and it still hurts, I don't know. But who wouldn't love to play for the Phillies? This is one of the best organizations ever."

Worley has loose body, bone spur removed from elbow

PHILADELPHIA -- Vance Worley underwent surgery on Friday that removed a loose body and a bone spur from his right elbow. The operation was performed by team physician Michael Ciccotti.

Worley, who was shut down for the season on Aug. 29, will likely rejoin the club on Saturday to start his rehabilitation, assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.

Worley was 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA this season, a year removed from finishing third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. The 24-year-old right-hander said recently that the recovery time from the surgery was expected to only be a couple weeks, so he should be ready for Spring Training.

Worth noting

• Brian Schneider might not return to the Phillies before the end of the season. The backup catcher continues to rehab his strained left hamstring and injured right ankle, and assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said his situation may be similar to that of Placido Polanco, who was shut down for the rest of the year on Friday.

Schneider had been rehabbing in Clearwater, Fla., but recently returned home, as his wife gave birth to a baby girl, Haven Suzanne, on Thursday.

• Ryan Howard was given his first day off in more than a month for Friday's series opener against the Rockies. Manager Charlie Manuel said Howard would be back in the lineup on Saturday. Ty Wigginton started at first base and batted fourth on Friday.

"I noticed the last couple days [Howard] was a little bit tired and he was sore," Manuel said. "I wanted to get him off his feet."

• Kevin Frandsen was scratched from Friday's lineup with left ankle soreness. Michael Martinez started at third base in his place.

• Friday marked the start of a 13-game stretch in which the Phillies play clubs with records worse than theirs.

• With the Phillies' Triple-A Lehigh Valley affiliate's season over, IronPigs manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Rod Nichols joined the big league staff on Friday. They will stay through the remainder of the season.

• Philadelphia farmhand Colin Kleven was named the club's first recipient of the Minor League Community Service Award on Friday. Kleven, who pitched for Class A Lakewood this year, performed 12 hours of community service in Lakewood, N.J., the most of any Phillies Minor Leaguer in 2012.