Chase Utley was placed on the disabled list less than a week ago. Carlos Ruiz and Roy Halladay also went on the DL this month.
Along with Ryan Howard, they were the three injured players that defined a lost 2012 season that saw the Phils finished with a non-winning record for the first time since 2002.
Howard hasn't joined the trio of injured Phils on the DL, but he has sat out of the starting lineup three times in the last seven games. His left knee pain, is at best, troubling.
More from Howard...
Q: How do you gauge the knee on a day-to-day basis?
Howard: I don’t know. It hurts, I let them know. If it’s too much for me to go out there, then I’ll let them know. if its bothering me throughout the course of the game, I’ll go to (Charlie Manuel) and say, ‘It’s kind of bothering me right now. If I get on base or something, you might want to get a pinch runner.' I usually do a pretty good job of letting them know. If it gets to be too much, I let them know.
Q: Is it beneficial to get a day off now and then, like yesterday? Ease the pain?
Howard: I don’t know. To me you want to be out there, you want to play, obviously. You play hurt, you play injured to the best of your ability. Guys go out and play hurt, play injured. That’s the part of your competitive nature. But it’s about being smart about it, too. If it’s something that continually bothers me to where it’s, ‘I can’t go right now.” I’ll let them know.
Q: Are you fearful this is going to go on all year?
Howard: Right now I’m just looking at it day to day. Sometimes it’s a little more, sometimes it’s a little less. Obviously that’s going to be something. Right now I’m looking at it day to day, and trying to run with the good days.
Q: Is it holding you back on how you perform?
Howard: I don’t know. I haven’t been one to make excuses. When I was going out there when my ankle was bad, I still feel like I could go out there and contribute to the best of my ability. In 2011, before the rupture. I don’t know, I don’t try to make excuses.
Q: Would wearing a brace help?
Howard: I don’t think so. I think it would feel weird.
Q: Did the cortisone shot wear off it you were hurting yesterday?
Howard: I don’t know. I guess. I don’t know how long it usually lasts. I just know if it hurts or bothers me a little bit, it hurts and it bothers me.
Q: How are you feeling today?
Howard: It’s a little bit better, but it’s still sore.
Q: Will you keep playing through it?
Howard: You get to the point where you have to be smart and make the right decisions. If it’s doing that, taking that time and getting it cleaned up or whatever or however long it is to be able to come back and have it not be a factor, than that’s what you do.
Q: You said you don’t make excuses, but wouldn’t it have to affect offensively being the back leg?
Howard: Obviously it plays a factor with it being my push-off leg, you try to get that extra torque. But if I’m out there I’m trying to do what I have to do. I’m not making excuses.
Q: Would being slotted as a DH help?
Howard: I’m sure you could, but I leave that up to Chuck. If he wants me to go out there, I’ll go out there. I’ll keep an eye on it. It’ll let me know. Trust me. It’ll let me know.
Q: Something that's going to require surgery?
Howard: That’s obviously the worst case scenario. ... I’d guess kind of if all else fails. You just try to continue to monitor it and try to stay in front of it and see what the next step is.
Q: Have you thought about how you’re going to get through this season?
Howard: No, not yet. No, not really. It’s been pretty recent as of right now. If it gets progressively worse -- I mean, some days are better than others. You just try to see where we are.