Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had stitches removed from his left ankle on Tuesday, 13 days after he underwent surgery for a ruptured Achilles. He's begun a rehab program in Philadelphia and can partake in partial weight-bearing activities.
Philadelphia hopes Howard is healed in time for April, although he's just one of many whose health the club has to monitor this offseason. The Phillies announced a slew of health updates on Friday.
Third baseman Placido Polanco had a follow-up exam with Dr. William Meyers on Wednesday after undergoing double sports hernia surgery and is continuing his rehab in Miami.
Left-hander Cole Hamels had stitches removed from his left elbow (loose bodies) on Thursday and is continuing his rehab in Philadelphia. Hamels had a follow-up exam to his hernia surgery Friday with Dr. Ernest Rosato -- exactly two weeks after the procedure -- and has been cleared to get back to his offseason program, as tolerated.
Right fielder Hunter Pence is also rehabbing from sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia, and he has a follow-up appointment with Dr. Meyers scheduled for next week.
Right-hander Jose Contreras (right forearm strain) was seen by Dr. Michael Ciccotti on Oct. 20, and he is slated to begin isometric forearm strengthening next week. If he continues on his current path, he can start throwing at the beginning of January.
Rounding out the update was Ross Gload, whose right hip was evaluated by Dr. Bryan Kelly in New York on Oct. 18. Although a small tear was diagnosed in the hip during the season, Dr. Kelly recommended Gload pass on surgery in favor of rehab.
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.