MIAMI –- Two days after receiving a cortisone injection in his left knee, Ryan Howard was back in the Phillies’ starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins.
“If I’m playing, obviously it feels pretty good,” he said.
Howard missed games on Sunday and Monday. An MRI revealed some abnormalities in the meniscus (cartilage) in his left knee, but Howard believes he can play through it with proper maintenance.
“Right now it feels pretty good,” he said. “As far as [what’s ahead], I’m sure we’ll continue to keep an eye on it and deal with it accordingly.”
Minor cartilage problems, such as fraying or loose particles, can often be cleaned up with postseason arthroscopic surgery. Howard said that would be a last resort.
Howard said he had felt some discomfort in the knee for some time and it became more severe on Saturday. He said the problem simply evolved and did not happen on one particular play.
Howard entered play Tuesday night hitting .245 with six homers and 22 RBIs. He had 46 strikeouts and just nine walks, four of which were intentional. Howard was asked if the knee hampered him at the plate. The left leg is his push leg in his swing.
“Obviously you can make out of it what you want with it being my back leg and stuff,” he said. “With it being the back leg, you’re trying to pivot and all that kind of stuff. I don’t know. I don’t like to try to make excuses. I like to try to go out there every day and compete to the best of my ability with whatever it is I have and go from there. We’ll continue to just see how it feels and, for the long term, continue to keep an eye out.”