Howard, who has experienced several setbacks in his recovery from offseason surgery on a ruptured Achilles, still has no definitive timetable for his return though broad estimates seem to indicate June as a possibility.
The MVP first baseman's initial training in Florida will consist of fielding ground balls and throwing in a controlled setting, moving on to hitting after a few days if all goes well.
The biggest hurdle still facing the 32-year-old is running, the very thing that caused his injury on the final play of the NLDS last year. Howard has yet to run at all, and will likely have to graduate to sprinting before he sees any action in extended spring training games.
The Phillies will continue to field the tag team of Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, John Mayberry and Jim Thome at first base in Howard's absence.