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Ryan Howard taking ground balls after torn Achilles

Feb 20, 2012, 5:51 PM EDT

Ryan Howard rehabbing Reuters

Ryan Howard isn’t scheduled for his first media session of the spring until Wednesday, but it appears he’s ahead of schedule in his rehab from the torn Achilles’ tendon he suffered on the final play of the Phillies’ season.

According to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Howard took some grounders on the field and also soft-toss swings in the batting cage on Monday.

β€œHe did good, really good,” manager Charlie Manuel said.

Howard is still walking with a bit of a limp and appears heavier than his typical playing weight, but that was to be expected considering that the leg limited his workouts.

The guess over the winter was that Howard would return to the Phillies lineup around two months into the season, but the picture appears to be a bit rosier now. He still figures to miss April, but maybe not much more than that.

John Mayberry Jr., Ty Wigginton and Jim Thome all figure to see time at first base until Howard returns.

  1. Gonzo - Feb 20, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Take your time, Big Brown. No need to rush this package before it’s delivery date. Heel that heel.

  2. Utley's Hair - Feb 20, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    What is his “typical” playing weight, since he did drop some a few years ago?

    • bleedgreen - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      I’d almost rather him put some of the weight back on. He’s dropped off a bit since then. He was running MUCH better until he sprained his ankle the year before. Saw him legging out doubles and going 1st to 3rd on singles. Then since he sprained his ankle he just never seemed to recover even after a full off season and last year.

  3. paperlions - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    It was his left Achilles. I know a couple of people (no, they weren’t pro athletes) that have ruptured theirs and it took them a full year to get anything approaching full strength in the thing. Hitting for power is all in the legs and hip rotation. If he can’t drive off of that back foot, even if he can do most of the other things, his hitting (which is all power based) may take a while to come around.

    Still, if playing on it doesn’t retard his rehab or convey additional injury risk, no reason to keep him out of the lineup if you think he can contribute before he’s back to 100%.

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