Ryan Howard set for check-up with surgeon early next week

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Ryan Howard began fielding ground balls and taking batting practice this week, but his rehab from a torn Achilles will be put on hold for a couple of days so he can visit with surgeon Mark Myerson in Baltimore on Monday or Tuesday.

There appears to be a minor difference of opinion on the nature of the visit, as Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Howard had a little “a little setback” while general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. and assistant general manager Scott Proefrock indicated that his visit to Myerson is nothing more than a routine check-up.

“He’s come along good,” Manuel said. “He had a little setback, but the setback is nothing to get alarmed about. It’ll be healed up and he’ll be fine. The doctors and the trainers say he’s ahead of pace.”

“Sometimes they leave a little stitch in to dissolve,” he said. “It’s sticking out and causing a little soreness.”

Keep in mind that Howard was hitting on the field today, so it’s safe to say the Phillies wouldn’t have had him out there if there was any cause for concern.

Barring a significant setback, Howard could be back in the Phillies’ starting lineup sometime in May. Ty Wigginton, Jim Thome and John Mayberry, Jr. are expected to fill in at first base until he’s ready.

White Sox place Avisail Garcia on disabled list with strained hamstring

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MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports that White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. The club called up outfielder Daniel Palka from Triple-A Charlotte.

Garcia, 26, suffered the injury during Monday’s game against the Mariners. He is off to a slow start this season, batting .233/.250/.315 with a home run and four RBI in 76 plate appearances.

Palka, 26, has been playing well for Charlotte, batting .286/.384/.476 with three home runs and seven RBI in 73 PA.