CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Ryan Howard said Wednesday he did not believe he would need to start his rehab from scratch once the protective boot is removed from his left foot.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. concurred.
"One of the residual positive effects was that we know the Achilles has healed," Amaro said. "Now it's just a matter of getting his strength."
Howard suffered a setback last month when he got an infection near his left Achilles. He required surgery Feb. 27 to remove sutures that had not properly dissolved. Howard has been in the boot since the surgery, because they need the new wound to heal before he can resume baseball activities.
"He may not be starting at the same spot he was before, clearly, but he's certainly not starting from Ground Zero," Amaro said.
Now what that means regarding Howard's eventual return remains to be seen. The Phillies had hoped in a best-case scenario he could be back in the lineup before June 1. That timetable seems to be pushed back, but nobody is saying.