The Philadelphia Phillies did not have Ryan Howard in the starting lineup last night. His knee has been bothering him, so manager Charlie Manuel decided to give Howard a day off. This isn't the first time Howard has been given rest due to his knee. He missed time last weekend because the knee was bothering him.
According to George Von Benko of MLB.com, Howard played through pain in the knee on Tuesday. The slugging first baseman admits that the rest helps, but he also indicated that he has little say in whether he rests or plays.
"It was a little sore last night," Howard said. "When I show up, the lineup is made up and that's what Charlie Manuel feels like he's got to go with that day."
Howard has struggled since the end of the 2010 season. He ruptured his achilles tendon during the 2011 postseason and came back less than the player he use to be. Now, the Phillies can only hope Howard can regain some of what he once was. However, injuries continue to plague the 33-year old.
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This season, Howard is hitting .267/.319/.462. He's fallen a long way from his 2006 MVP season. He's even fallen from any of his three All-Star seasons. Howard still has the power, but he is not getting on base the same as he used to. Perhaps health is a big factor, but there's always the possibility that Howard just doesn't have it anymore. Time will tell.
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