Philliesfirst baseman Ryan Howard will go under the knife. Howard has a meniscus tear in his left knee and he'll have surgery soon. The Big Piece will be on the shelf for 6-8 weeks.
"I'mencouraged," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said. "It could have been more significant. We know it's treatable."
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Amarocompared Howard's knee injury to backup catcher Erik Kratz, who had surgery June 12 and might return this weekend.
The best case scenario has Howard back on the field in September. However, will the Phillies still be in a playoff race?
IfHoward can play, he probably will since he's tougher than most fans think. After receiving a cortisone injection May 19, Howard was in the lineup until Saturday before the pain became unbearable.
Butthe Phillies are looking past this season since they're on the hook with Howard for three more campaigns. Don't expect the organization to rush the hulking slugger.
"We can only speculate how long it will take to get him to rehab," Amaro said. "We'll shootfor the conservative one."
Darin Ruf, who was called up over theweekend, will play plenty of first base in place of Howard. But will the rookie be able to approximate Howard's production. Since being called up in 2005, Howard has a whopping 963 RBIs.