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Ryan Howard expected to recover from Achilles’ tendon surgery in 5-6 months

Oct 12, 2011, 7:08 PM EDT

howard getty Getty Images

As Craig noted earlier, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard underwent surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles’ tendon early Wednesday morning.

Now some recovery timetables are pouring in.

According to’s Todd Zolecki, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday evening that Howard will be back to playing at the level he’s accustomed to within 5-6 months. That still puts the start of his 2012 season in doubt, but there were early estimates suggesting he might miss the entire year. And it appears we can now put those to rest.

Howard, 31, batted .253/.346/.488 with 33 home runs and 116 RBI in 152 regular-season games before going 2-for-21 the Phillies’ NLDS loss to the Cardinals. He’s owed $125 million over the next five seasons.

  1. ame123 - Oct 12, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Good news, this is pretty much the best-case time-frame.

  2. jwbiii - Oct 12, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    This is good. It keeps the Phillies out of the second tier first baseman market, which they would probably want to do if Howard was going to miss half the season.

  3. Jonny 5 - Oct 12, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Thome. It’s a perfect fit.

    • ame123 - Oct 12, 2011 at 8:55 PM

      Thome hasnt played in the field in 5 years. Forget it.

    • jwbiii - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:39 PM

      Thome hasn’t played the field because he has a bad back. The bending and stretching necessary to play first base would not be good for him.

  4. micker716 - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Seems optimistic for a complete rupture on a veteran player. I guess it keeps Phillies fans off the ledge for now.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM

      Once again, Ryan Howard is one of the most maligned athletes in Philadelphia…which places him high in the running for most maligned worldwide. Although I don’t listen to sports radio, I’d be willing to place a healthy wager that many people, while not happy over his injury, are looking forward to not seeing him in the line-up for a spell.

    • paperlions - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:40 PM

      I agree. It seems very optimistic for such an Achilles injury. It would be great if he could be back by then….just seems….I don’t know….like an unlikely time line.

      • otistaylor89 - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:18 AM

        I ruptured mine in Oct 2009 and it took me at least a year to be back to 75% of what I was before.
        Of course I’m 48 hrs old….

  5. lookatthefarside - Oct 13, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    I feel sorry for the guy. Last year striking out to Wilson to end the NLCS…this year last at bat and this happens.

    • joelgold - Oct 13, 2011 at 2:26 AM

      No way that he is back 100% from an Achilles rupture in 5-6 months. I wish him the best but let’s also be realistic about a serious injury.

      • paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:27 AM

        I suppose it may not affect his hitting much (although your base is important for balance, you are creating torque, not forward drive, so that aspect may be okay sooner than things that require running), but if people thought he was slow around the bases or had no range at 1st before….this is going to bring a whole new level of “not fast-ness” to his game….at least until 2013.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:34 AM

        In fairness, he was a one base at a time guy this year anyway due to the bursitis in his ankle. If he can stay around neutral defensively then I’d be happy. The real concern is that he needs to hit better. I was thinking about his yesterday, maybe this injury will be good for him…you know, get away from the game for a tad. I’ve gotten the distinct impression from watching him play over the last couple seasons that he is pressing….trying to live up to expectations. Maybe this injury will help temper some of those expectations, I don’t know. I do know that he needs to relax and let the game flow through him.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

        He was desperate to hammer the ball out of the park when Carpenter offered him that high ball on 3-0 You could see it on his face (or that may have been me projecting what I THINK he’s thinking)

  6. phillyphreak - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    I don’t think it has anything to do with living up to expectations or pressing. It’s more a skill related decline and pitchers knowing how to pitch to him now. At this stage of his career he’s not going to suddenly change anything, at least I don’t think so.

    • paperlions - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM

      That would be my guess. The reason Howard was in the minors so long is that he had a huge hole in his swing, many thought he wouldn’t be able to close it up enough to survive against MLB pitching, but eventually he closed it up very well….as he ages, it seems that hole is growing again…and when you try to compensate for a known weakness, it makes you more vulnerable to other approaches. I wouldn’t worry about it though…just sit back and enjoy him hitting bombs in driving in runs (or something like that).

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        Ok, I will buy that. I still think he has been pressing the past couple seasons combined with a natural decline in his skills.

  7. badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    If he stands any further from the plate, he can work from home.

    JK – hoping the big guy has a speedy and successful recovery.

    Maybe some time away will do some good, but he will have the same pressure (history, contract) when he returns. Hope he makes the necessary adjustments–I think he has a lot left in him.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:13 AM


  8. thekingdave - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    “Once again, Ryan Howard is one of the most maligned athletes in Philadelphia…which places him high in the running for most maligned worldwide.”

    Because Philadelphia is the epicenter of the sports world…

    • kellyb9 - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      Nope, we just malign people more than any other city.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      It’s a play on a line from the movie “The Big Lebowski” coupled with the notion that Philadelphia is tough on their athletes. I guess you kind of missed that though.

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