Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard believes he may have torn his left Achilles tendon when he swung and tried to run out a groundout that ended Philadelphia’s season, stunning towel waving fans at Citizens Bank Park Friday night.
If losing Game 5 of the NLDS 1-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t bad enough, Phillies fans had to witness Howard grab his left ankle and go to the turf, while the victorious Cardinals celebrated on the field. The 31-year-old St. Louis native fell to the ground right after leaving the batters box, stumbled, then fell again. He had to be helped off the field.
“I was trying to run, and I just felt this pop,” Howard said. “The whole thing just went numb, like it was on fire. Just tried to keep going, and went down. It literally felt like I was on a flat tire. I tried to get up. Couldn’t go.”
He was scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday. If Howard did indeed tear his Achilles, it could mean plenty of rehab during the offseason.
During the second half of the season, Howard fought through bursitis near the tendon, and had a cortisone shot prior to the playoffs.
Armed with one of the best starting rotations in baseball, the Phillies were expected by many to reach the World Series. But the addition of Cliff Lee wasn’t enough to push the favorites to the championship series. Instead, the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers will matchup in the NLCS, with the winner advancing to where Philly was expected to be—the World Series.