Status quo for Howard

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Ryan Howard has yet to hit or run since having surgery on February 27. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

SAN FRANCISCO — Ryan Howard saw an undisclosed wound specialist Monday in Philadelphia and the status quo remains. He cannot expand his activity until the wound on his right heel completely heals. That has yet to happen.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Howard continues to heal but the process is slow. He had a second surgery Feb. 27 to clean an infection from where the original procedure on his torn Achilles was performed.

"The question is when does he start doing stuff so it doesn't compromise the healing process?" Amaro said. "We're still on hold as far as that is concerned. Hopefully we'll know more in the next couple of days."

Howard has yet to hit or run since that Feb. 27 surgery.

>>> Chase Utley will meet with the team next week in Phoenix when the Phillies are in town. Utley is working with a physical therapist there.

"His strength seems to be improving," Amaro said. "He's moving forward, too."

>>> Michael Martinez (broken foot) will be in a boot for another two weeks. His injury is part of the reason why the Phillies signed Mike Fontenot to a minor-league deal. Fontenot passed his physical and reported to extended spring training Monday. He'll spend about a week there before going to triple-A Lehigh Valley..

"The guy over the last couple years hasn't been as effective a major league player," Amaro said, "but he's got experience."

>>> There is good injury news: Pitching prospect Justin De Fratus faced live hitters Monday and threw approximately 30 pitches, including breaking balls. He'll pitch again Thursday and then could appear in a rehab game after that.

"He's making very good progress," Amaro said.


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