Jun 27, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) during warmups prior to playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Howard is finally getting ready to head off on a rehab assignment; he'll DH in Single A Lakewood (N.J.) on Thursday night.
Like teammate Chase Utley, who rejoined the Phillies last night, Howard started the 2012 season on the disabled list. The slugger was recovering from off-season surgery on his Achilles and faced several setbacks that have pushed back his debut.
While it’s a positive sign that Howard is starting his rehab assignment, he isn’t sure when he’ll be able to rejoin the Phillies.
Howard told reporters that hitting-wise he doesn’t feel any different. He says the injury is a non-factor in that regard so far. However, Howard still runs with a limp and while he expects that to work itself out, he also knows that he may not be 100 percent until next season.
Howard, 32, owns a career line of .275/.368/.560 and has hit 31 or more home runs per season from 2006-11. So far this year, Phillies first basemen have combined to hit at a clip of .260/.319/.418.