Howard doesn't think he'll be out long term

Ryan Howard will have an MRI on his injured ankle today. (Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer)

Ryan Howard is back in Philadelphia, as we told you in today's Daily News, to have his injured left ankle examined.

He remains optimistic that he won't need to be put on the disabled list, although he was on crutches. Howard is scheduled for an MRI exam.

"I'm not worried that it’s long term," Howard told NBC10's John Clark at the airport before visiting team physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti. "It's been 2 days and I’ve ben able to put pressure on it and just using the crutches for precautionary measures. Hopefully, maybe it's like 4, 7 days. Maybe 10 days."

Howard was hurt when he slid back into second base in the first inning Sunday against the Washington Nationals.

"It’s part of the game," Howard said. "It's a little frustrating. Right now the focus is just getting better and see what happens ...  It feels alright. I can put pressure on it … just need to see how long it takes."

"There’s pain, there’s swelling. Once we get all the swelling out, we'll see where it goes from there and what the MRI says and what ligaments are involved."

A stint on the DL would be another setback for a Phillies team that has suffered through major injuries throughout the season.

"On the positive side of things, we’re still only 2.5 games back," Howard said. "That’s the kind of the funny, interesting thing. We’ve had these setbacks and guys getting hurt. We’re still only 2.5 back with only 2 months to play. I’m trying to stay positive."