Ryan Howard says he is ready to resume playing after recovering from a small knee situation.
The Phillies, though, are saying not-so-fast.
With that, the informally scheduled Howard farewell tour at Citizens Bank Park will not likely resume until the Phils return from a road trip for a three-game series with the Mets starting Sept. 30.
Pete Mackanin, who typically arrives at
the ballpark around 1 p.m., was counseled by trainers to provide
Howard with additional rest Tuesday, even with the visiting Chicago White Sox starting right-handed pitcher James Shields.
Since the White Sox are scheduled to
start left-handed Chris Sale, Howard would not start Wednesday,
either. That will have given him a five-day, four-game rest after
he'd reported a slight fluid buildup on his left knee Saturday.
“When I originally talked to
(trainer) Scott Sheridan he said he thought it would be best to give
him another day,” Mackanin said. “It's not in his best interest
even to tweak it a little bit, this late in the year.”
The Phillies had planned to start
Howard as often as possible, particularly against right-handers,
during their late-season home games. They are expected to exercise
their option to buy out the final year of Howard's contract at
season's end, and they were trying to give their fans as many chances
as possible to see the top left-handed home-run hitter in franchise
But Howard sat out Saturday and Sunday,
and the Phillies were off Monday. By Tuesday, he was ready.
“Why wouldn't I be?” he said. “I
said I had a small problem. That's all it was. I had some rest. We
isolated the problem and controlled the problem.”
Howard was available to pinch-hit
Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, they will take a seven-game, eight-day road trip to visit the Braves and Mets.
“I think the worst thing that could
happen is that if it did blow up again,” Mackanin said. “It's not
going to help him for next year. He'll play quite a bit on this next
road trip and certainly the last three games here.”