Ryan Howard expected to recover from Achilles’ tendon surgery in 5-6 months

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As Craig noted earlier, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard underwent surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles’ tendon early Wednesday morning.

Now some recovery timetables are pouring in.

According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday evening that Howard will be back to playing at the level he’s accustomed to within 5-6 months. That still puts the start of his 2012 season in doubt, but there were early estimates suggesting he might miss the entire year. And it appears we can now put those to rest.

Howard, 31, batted .253/.346/.488 with 33 home runs and 116 RBI in 152 regular-season games before going 2-for-21 the Phillies’ NLDS loss to the Cardinals. He’s owed $125 million over the next five seasons.