Ryan Howard ditches protective boot, cleared for workouts

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Ryan Howard took a big step in his recovery from a torn Achilles’ tendon today, as doctors cleared him to stop wearing a protective boot and start working out.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Howard’s first post-boot workout involved fielding ground balls at first base while sitting on a stool, so he’s obviously still nowhere near being game ready at this point.

Howard’s timetable was pushed back because of an infection months after the surgery, leading to speculation that he’ll miss all of April and most of May at the very least. Jimmy Rollins even expressed some doubt about the slugging first baseman playing at all this season, but barring more setbacks June seems like a reasonable target date.