Ryan Howard Injury: Infection Knocks Comeback Off Schedule

Not so long ago, Ryan Howard was supposedly on track to rejoin the Philadelphia Phillies in May after recovering from the severe ankle injury he suffered last October. Recently, though, Howard got an infection near his healing Achilles tendon, and the infection was serious enough to require surgery.

Which obviously put a hard stop to his spring-training rehabilitation. Philly.com's Matt Gelb:

The Phillies have told their first baseman to mostly rest. He has not been seen at the team's complex. The Phillies do not have an estimate for when Howard will resume baseball activities.

"We immobilized him," Amaro said, "just because our main priority is to just get the infection out of there."

Amaro said Howard is taking a strong dose of antibiotics to remove the infection. Doctors have told Amaro that it could take anywhere from seven to 10 days for the infection to leave his body. Howard last participated in a workout on Feb. 25.

Howard was supposed to return to the Phillies' lineup in May, but now his timetable's quite uncertain. He might still come back in May, but that means the infection's gone and he's rehabbing again within the next week or two ... and there aren't any more setbacks. If we have to guess, we might now guess that Howard won't take over at first base again until sometime in June. Give or take.

In his absence, Jim Thome figures to get much of the playing time, if he looks decent enough at first base this spring. If not, Ty Wigginton's the top candidate until Howard gets back.

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