Ryan Howard to have MRI on knee, surgery “remains an option”

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CSN Philly’s John Finger reports that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard will have an MRI taken on his ailing left knee on Monday. The results will direct the next step the Phillies take with their $125 million slugger, and surgery “remains an option”. Howard went on the 15-day disabled list yesterday.

“We’ll see what happens [Monday] to get a better understanding of what’s going on inside of there and then we’ll address it with either surgery or any other kind of injections,” Howard said. “Right now, it’s too early to tell. Once we find out, we’ll look at it and see what will be the best thing.”

Howard clarified that the injury had nothing to do with his ankle. He ruptured his Achilles tendon making the final out of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals and missed the first 84 games of the 2012 season. His mobility and agility were severely limited last year, but seemed to get better after an off-season of rest.

Howard leaves the Phillies having posted a .784 OPS, spurred in part to a .930 OPS in 21 games dating back to June 11. In his absence, the Phillies may use some combination of Michael Young and Darin Ruf at first base.

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.