Howard to be evaluated Monday

Ryan Howard will have his surgically repaired ankle evaluated on Monday. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Ryan Howard's visit to foot specialist Mark Myerson is scheduled for Monday in Baltimore.

Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan said the team was planning to send the first baseman for a follow-up visit even before a post-surgery problem surfaced in recent days.

"The last couple days, he developed what we think is a delayed reaction to his sutures," Sheridan said during the team's workout Monday at the Carpenter Complex. "He has an open wound that isn't healing the way we want it to ... and we have to get that evaluated. Mark will evaluate him and we'll determine what his treatment plan is from there."

General manager Ruben Amaro described Howard's condition as seroma -- a pocket of clear fluid that sometimes develops in an area after surgery. Sheridan said it is a common occurrence, especially after Achilles tendon surgery.

"The Achilles tendon is notorious for not healing well -- the skin over top of it," Sheridan said. "Sometimes these things happen and that's why when you look at setting time frames, you never say somebody is behind or ahead of schedule until they are on the field."

Sheridan said this was not a setback for Howard.

"We wanted Ryan to go back and see Mark, so this is kind of a scheduled appointment," he said. "He just has a nice little adjunct to it that he is going to have something else to look at. We think it's important that Mark kind of helps us make these decisions in where he progresses. He did not have a setback and that's why we're sending him there. It's just somethjing that happens as part of the rehab process."

Sheridan said he has been pleased with Howard's rehab to date.

"Ryan has been doing great," the trainer said. "He has been out on the field and has been doing the things we expected him to be doing at this point. Hopefully, we can keep it going in the right direction."

The trainer was asked if he thought Howard would have to modify his schedule after seeing Myerson.

"I don't know," he said. "I don't want to put something out there without Mark seeing him first. He's the expert and I prefer to have his input before saying something like that."

Although Howard has taken live batting practice since coming to spring training, Sheridan said the biggest challenge lies ahead.

"Running and cutting," Sheridan said. "Basically re-enacting how it happened. Coming out of the box and making that first push, stopping, starting and turning is the challenge. Running straight ahead is easy. You start to add those other things and it becomes more difficult."