Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has been on the disabled list since August 2, a day after he suffered a badly sprained left ankle while running the bases. So far progress has been slow, but he did take a major step Thursday.
According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Howard took ground balls at first base and even took some hacks in an indoor batting cage on Thursday afternoon at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. He still has some swelling in the ankle and isn’t fully free of discomfort, but that should come soon.
“He’s doing real well,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said after watching Thursday’s workout. “He’s coming along really good. It’s just a matter of time.”
Howard is still targeting August 17 as a possible return date, but that seems unlikely at the moment, especially if the Phillies ask him to head out on a minor league rehab assignment. The 30-year-old was batting .292 with an .884 OPS, 23 home runs and 81 RBI in 101 games before the injury.