Howard may have torn Achilles tendon

Ryan Howard is helped off the field after grounding out to end Game 5 on Friday. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)

 The pain from Friday night's Game 5 loss could end up being felt into next season. First baseman Ryan Howard said doctors suspect he may have torn his Achilles tendon while trying to run out a groundout that ended the Phillies' 1-0 loss to the Cardinals in the decisive fifth game of the National League Division Series.

Howard will have an MRI Saturday, at which point a better prognosis should be known.

Recovery time usually depends on the severity of the injury. Some tears have sidelined athletes for 4 to 6 months, others longer.

Howard, who has battled bursitis near the tendon, said he felt a "pop" as he was running to first base. He also felt a burning sensation.

"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."

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