Ryan Howard has a torn Achilles' tendon and might not be back in time for spring training next year, the Philadelphia Phillies announced Saturday.
It was more bad news for the 102-win Phillies a day after they were eliminated from the postseason by the wild-card St. Louis Cardinals.
Howard was injured while making the final out of the season-ending loss in Game 5 of the National League division series Friday night, falling as he ran out of the batter's box on a ground ball. An MRI exam on Saturday showed a rupture of the left Achilles' tendon, which will require surgery once the swelling goes down.
Those types of injuries often require at least six months to recover, meaning Howard could start his five-year, $125-million contract extension on the disabled list.
It was the second year in a row Howard made the final out of the Phillies' season. A year ago, the first baseman struck out looking to end the deciding Game 6 of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants.
“You don't want to be a part of that,” Howard said about making the final out of the season.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: Ryan Howard reacts after falling down on his way to first base with an Achilles' tendon rupture while making the final out in Game 5 of the National League division series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. Credit: Alex Brandon / Associated Press