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Ryan Howard to have MRI on knee, surgery “remains an option”

Jul 7, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

Phillies' Howard smiles after scoring the game-winning run against the Astros during their National League baseball game in Philadelphia

CSN Philly’s John Finger reports that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard will have an MRI taken on his ailing left knee on Monday. The results will direct the next step the Phillies take with their $125 million slugger, and surgery “remains an option”. Howard went on the 15-day disabled list yesterday.

“We’ll see what happens [Monday] to get a better understanding of what’s going on inside of there and then we’ll address it with either surgery or any other kind of injections,” Howard said. “Right now, it’s too early to tell. Once we find out, we’ll look at it and see what will be the best thing.”

Howard clarified that the injury had nothing to do with his ankle. He ruptured his Achilles tendon making the final out of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals and missed the first 84 games of the 2012 season. His mobility and agility were severely limited last year, but seemed to get better after an off-season of rest.

Howard leaves the Phillies having posted a .784 OPS, spurred in part to a .930 OPS in 21 games dating back to June 11. In his absence, the Phillies may use some combination of Michael Young and Darin Ruf at first base.

  1. xxakshunxx - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    If he believes that his prior ankle injury hasn’t affected the way he runs and has been training than I’d like to know what drugs he’s on

    • historiophiliac - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      Perhaps something that will make your handle seem clever.

  2. illadelphiasphinest - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    My only hope for Howard is that somehow Vernon Wells and his silly contract got traded…

    • flamethrower101 - Jul 7, 2013 at 11:46 PM

      Twice I might add.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Note the lack of interest concerning Ryan Howard. Philly fans are completely over this guy. Outside of Alex Rodriguez this is the most overpaid, overrated player in professional baseball. I’m completely disgusted with this guy. GET HIM OFF MY TEAM AND OUT OF MY SIGHT!

    • tuberippin - Jul 8, 2013 at 4:25 AM

      Right, because it’s Ryan Howard’s fault that Ruben Amaro is a fucking moron who offered the guy $125 million well before he was due to hit free agency.

      “Outside of Alex Rodriguez this is the most overpaid, overrated player in professional baseball.”

      Johan Santana is making $26 million this year to not play.
      Vernon Wells is making $24.6 million to suck.
      Alfonso Soriano is making $20 million and playing worse than Howard was.
      Not to mention Tim Lincecum or Barry Zito.

      • anthonyverna - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:53 AM

        And we can easily put a point on Ryan Howard’s career: The Achilles injury.

        Sanatana, Wells, Soriano, Lincecum, Zito don’t have definitive points of decline. Ryan Howard’s Achilles injury is what started his rapid decline.

        In other words: Not exactly his fault. The vitriol sent towards Ryan Howard by my fellow Philly fans is inexplicable.

      • bleedgreen - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        I’d say he was declining before the achilles injury. His power disappeared that same year though. He lost like 25-30lbs so he could move and run better, and by all appearances, he was successful in that. He was running well, legging out doubles and not looking like a stampeding elephant. Then he sprained his ankle in July or so rounding first and stepped on the bag funny. Then he tore his achilles.

        Howard’s issues aren’t physical in my eyes. Its his place discipline and approach. He’s swinging at 3-0 pitches with guys on 1st and 2nd. You take AT LEAST 1 pitch in that situation, if not 2. Instead, he grounded into a double play. He very much appears to make up his mind if he’s going to swing before the pitcher releases the ball. He’ll let a fast ball right over the plate come in but then hack away at a breaker thats 9″ off the plate.

  4. bacardipr05 - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Give him the surgery enough with the injections.. He needs time off and he needs a new approach to the plate. I have seen a little progress as at times he looked like he was taking more pitches. He needs to work on that for a while. They can platoon Ruf, Young, and Mayberry over at 1st. Chase can also play 1st base if the need arrives. They also have Frandsden and to a lesser extent Nix. If they do the surgery now depending on how bad his knee is theres a chance he can be back on by late August. Crikey Kratz is already rehabbing. They need the best bats and healthiest bodies out there.

  5. faeridream - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    I think his issues (prior to this injury) have been part physical, part mental. His past injuries, starting with the sprained ankle, have obviously affected his play. But Howard is also a player who easily gets caught up in his own head and the problem quickly snowballs out of control – as soon as he hits a slump, he starts pressuring himself & trying TOO hard, hacking at everything.
    My biggest issue (other than with Amaro, of course) is with our own fans – it only makes things worse when his hometown fans constantly boo him. The only time fans should boo their own player is when they lack effort, when they don’t give it their all, when they don’t care. Howard cares TOO much, it just psyches him out even more when he goes up there knowing that if he doesn’t get a hit, he’ll be booed yet AGAIN. How about trying to support the guy – like true fans should? There’s a reason Philly fans have such a bad rep. Philly has the best fans in sports – let’s start acting like it!

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