Ryan Howard met the media at Phillies spring training today to discuss his rehab after tearing his ACL on the final out of the NLDS series against the Cardinals last season. Howard didn’t give a timetable for his return, but said he’s working hard to get back.
“The obvious goal is to want to get out there as soon as possible,” he said. "I’m just listening to my body. It will tell me when I’m ready. There are going to be times when your competitive nature takes over and you’re wanting to push a little more, but the training staff is doing a good job of keeping me in check – just making sure I’m doing baby step-type things.
It’s kind of like learning how to run all over again because I’ve been walking with a limp after walking in the boot for about two months."
Howard has of course not forgotten that he’s made the final out of the Phililes season for two straight years. He hopes to have another crack at a big at bat this season.
“It sucks and I know how it looks to everybody,” he said. “Having the season come down (to the last out) and you’re that guy. I try to stay positive. The last two seasons I got out. I figure I’m about due. I’d love to be in that situation again.”
The Phillies season begins in May and while Charlie Manuel has been optimistic about Howard’s chances to be ready, the smart money says the Phillies will play this cautiously and not bring back Howard until he’s absolutely ready.