Howard’s Achilles and Knee Issues Related?

Ryan HowardRyan Howard missed much of last season following surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles.

He then had a cortisone injection in his left knee yesterday in Philadelphia because of inflammation and changes in his meniscus. He is unavailable to play tonight against the Marlins, but the Phillies said he is day-to-day. They are hopeful he can avoid a trip to the disabled list. They also hope this is not the beginning of a trend of leg injuries for the $125 million first baseman, who has $85 million remaining on his contract following this season.

“Injuries are a part of the game,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. “That comes with the territory when you sign these guys. We have a bunch of pitchers on long-term contracts, too. It’s just a risk you take. You never know what’s going to happen. Chase (Utley) signed a seven-year deal and we lost out.”

Howard had an MRI exam this morning in Philadelphia before joining the Phillies in Miami. Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said Howard had symptoms in his knee for a couple weeks, but it was manageable. Recently, however, Howard told Sheridan the knee bothered him more.

Could the Achilles injury he suffered in Game 5 of the 2011 National League Division Series be related to the knee injury? It is common for pitchers to develop elbow issues because of shoulder and back issues. As a pitcher’s mechanics get out of whack, it causes stress on other parts of the body.

“That’s the million dollar question right there,” Sheridan said. “For me, it’s like the old song: the foot bone is connected to the knee bone … to me the closed chain of the ankle relate to the knee, relate to the hip. They all play apart. So that’s a reasonable question. Whether that’s what’s happened, we don’t know.”

Sheridan said the goal is to get Howard healthy and move on, although that remains to be seen.

“We’re going to do the treatment that we did and see how he responds to it,” Sheridan said. “And then we’ll have to make decisions from there as to what needs to be done beyond that.”

The changes in the meniscus essentially mean a tear and inflammation.

“When you look at the meniscus, there’s a little piece of it that we’re concerned about,” Sheridan said. “There’s certain tests that make it look like he has a meniscus tear, and that’s not as clear cut. If you did an MRI on all of it and you find these changes in the meniscus, the question is – is that what’s really causing the symptoms?”

Howard is hitting .245 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 41 games this season. He has a .713 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which is the lowest mark of his career. His OPS has declined each season since 2009.

Asked if Howard’s build – he is listed at 6-foot-4, 242 pounds – could cause him continued leg problems, Sheridan said, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re big or small, if something in the joints is creating a problem for you, you’ve got to take care of it no matter whether it’s Freddy Galvis or Ryan Howard. Mechanically, that’s what we’re worried about. Is that truly going to hinder him from getting back?”

Sheridan also said players have played with this issue in the past, which is why he is hopeful Howard can do the same.

“I would bet there are a ton of guys who’ve had tears in their meniscus, on this team or on others,” he said. “It’s part of wear and tear and playing 162 games and whatever else. Lots of wear and tear in this game. These guys, it’s their legs. Pitchers, it’s the shoulder.”

11 Comments

This isn’t just any regular injury.This is most likely going to be an on going problem and eventually may end his career earlier then he desires.

his lack of hitting may end his career earlier then he desires. For $25 million a year he should be able tonhit better then Dom Brown

The Chubby Guy’s wheels just wont carry that overloaded truck much longer. Frillies are an old, overpaid team getting older.

And how are things going at “Tommy John Surgery Central”? Here is an idea, the Braves should cut back on the stress on their relievers by cutting back on the number of bullpen pitchers.

“Tommy John Central” is 26-18, currently leading the division. Thanks for asking, and have a wonderful day.

While the infield is getting old(Except for Galvis) most places on the team are getting younger. With Pettibone replacing Halladay, Lee is the only SP over 30. The Starting OF consists of a 27 year old and two 25 year olds. Five of the 7 in the bullpen are 27 or younger. I am not a fan of the “blow it up” strategy. Next year, Galvis will replace Utley and Frandsen becomes will again start at third with Asche coming up and getting at bats comparable to what Galvis is getting this year. We can use the savings from Utley/Halladay to go after an OF bat(or 2). Either by trade or FA signing. Reminder, the Phils TV contract is up and the end next season. Their ratings next year could mean the difference in hundreds of millions of dollars if not over a billion. Blowing it up will not be an option.

“Reminder, the Phils TV contract is up and the end next season.” Does that mean we can scream for better TV booth commentators than the likes of Tom Mc, Wheels and Da Sarge? Gosh, I hope so.

What would Ryan be doing differently with the re-attached tendon that he didn’t do with his naturally attached tendon? Because to say there is a connection would mean he is doing something differently, or maybe the reattached tendon is still tight and pulling on the knee from one end? Whatever the case, the Phils have to be careful with their long–term investment….

Pingback: The Big Questions About the Big Piece « Phillies Phollowers

Pingback: The Big Questions About the Big Piece

In contrast, ice should be used in acute conditions to reduce
swelling, inflammation and to decrease the pain.
So, right there, we have eyestrain and probably neck pain
and maybe even back pain all feeding into the throbbing in your skull.
However, you should really take the time to understand the cause of
your chronic back pain before you simply write it off as something
that’s not important to worry about or assume that it is caused by one thing when in fact it is caused by something completely different.

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