Ryan Howard will sit out the Phillies next few games after receiving a cortisone injection in his left ankle today. Howard is hoping to rejoin the Phillies Thursday before they begin their regular season ending road trip.
Since they’ve clinched the NL East and own the Majors best record, the Phillies have the luxury of resting key players with the postseason approaching. While manager Charlie Manuel admitted he would give his regulars days off as the season winds down, Howard’s case is a little different.
Howard’s dealt with bursitis in his left ankle for weeks now. Philadelphia hopes the shot can help mask the pain for the remainder of the year. While it hasn’t been that evident at the plate, the ankle has obviously impacted Howard on the bases. I know Howard’s not going to be confused with Michael Bourn anytime soon, but you can tell something’s not right with the big man.
On top of the ankle problem, Howard is also dealing with a sore toe. The slugger sustained the injury during Saturday’s game when he fouled a ball off his foot.
I’m sure Howard won’t want to stay on the sidelines for too much of an extended period, but at the same time I don’t see Thursday as being a very hard deadline for his return. The Phillies are certain to be cautious with their first baseman. With their tickets already punched, Philadelphia will likely give Howard as much time as necessary.
For more on the Phillies, be sure to check out That Balls Outta Here.