Ryan Howard was not in the lineup for the fourth time in 10 games Friday night because of bursitis in his left heel and ankle. He calls it a "hankle" injury.
"It's sore," Howard said before the Phillies took on the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. "There are days when it is looser than others and days when it is stiff. I think the one constant has been the soreness that has just been there."
Howard said if the Phillies did not have such a comfortable lead in the National League East that he would probably be playing on a daily basis, but that does not change the fact that he is in extreme discomfort.
The first baseman ended an 0-for-15 slump with a game-winning doubleheader in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader against Florida, but he said the soreness in his foot has not affected his ability to hit.
"It doesn't really affect me in my stance," he said. "It's more so running. As far as being at the plate, it doesn't effect me at all."
The remedy for Howard's soreness may end up being a cortisone injection, but the first baseman said that will not happen until after the team clinches the division title, which could happen Friday night if the Phillies beat the Cardinals and Atlanta lost to the New York Mets.
"That could be a possiblity," Howard said. "Right now, it's still early enough to where hopefully we clinch and we'll discuss that and see if that's the best option."
John Mayberry Jr. got the start at first base in place of Howard Friday night.
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