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Howard will get surgery; What does this mean for Phils?

Phils Ryan Howard stumbles after injuring his left foot leaving the batter's box. He has a torn Achilles and will have surgery (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Ryan Howard felt it as soon as he attempted to leave the batter’s box.

The sharp pain running through his body wasn’t just the end of the Phillies season dribbling to Cardinals second baseman Nick Punto. It was the pop Howard felt in his left foot that dropped Howard halfway down the first base line, leaving him in some of the worst pain during his 8-year career.

The injury was a tear to his left Achilles and it could potentially leave Howard out of the Phillies line up at least until May or June. He will have surgery this off season once the swelling goes down and there is, “no guarantee he will be ready for Spring Training.”

If the Phillies in fact lose Howard for a very long time, there needs to be some serious thought towards filling the 35+ homers and 120+ RBIs that Howard is good for every season.

There will come a handful of times where the Phils will need production from the four-spot in a late-game situation. Howard has provided that spark a handful of times during his career.

So how do you replace that? Howard’s time off could last only a couple months, making the Phillies decision a less drastic one. But there are also risks of set-backs.

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