Ryan Howard injury: Phillies 1B placed on DL with left knee inflammation

USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies have bit the bullet on Ryan Howard, sending the first baseman to the disabled list with knee inflammation.

The Philadelphia Phillies placed first baseman Ryan Howard on the 15-day day disabled list Saturday with left knee inflammation, the team announced via Twitter. Darin Ruf has been promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace him on the roster.

Just hours after Howard took the field for batting practice prior to Saturday's game, he finds himself sidelined by the balky left knee that has plagued him for weeks.

When Matt Gelb of Philly.com first reported Howard's removal from Saturday's lineup, he noted that the first baseman's knee could contain a torn meniscus. He added that the Phillies would, "continue to play him until the injury is debilitating," but considering the time he's already missed lately, "that point could be nearing."

With this news, it's arrived.

Entering Saturday's action, Howard has posted mediocre numbers this season -- a .266/.319/.465 batting line and 11 home runs in 317 plate appearances. It's unclear how much the injury impacted that performance, but the 33-year-old needs to get healthy with another three-plus years on his contract.

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