Originally written on Baseball News Source  |  Last updated 5/20/13
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Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was diagnosed with inflammation in his left knee and a supposed change in his meniscus following an MRI that was conducted on Monday. After sitting out Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, Howard will be listed as day-to-day and will miss Monday’s contest against the Miami Marlins. Howard has admitted that his knee has been sore since spring training, but that the pain intensified over the weekend, prompting the Phillies to schedule the slugger for an MRI. While avoiding the DL, Howard is a major source of future concern for the Phillies. Howard is signed through the 2016 season, and is guaranteed $105 million in that span, including this season. Howard is hitting .245 with six home runs and 22 RBI, along with a sub-par .713 OPS and .430 SLG this season. Howard struggled last season after returning from the DL, hitting .219 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 71 games. Noticeable has been Howard’s decline over the past few seasons, and at the age of 33, Howard is at a crossroad in his career. Upon his return from a sore left knee, only time will tell if Howard can shake his recent slump, given that the past two seasons have been a slump or rather his decline as an elite slugger.
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