Howard set for precautionary MRI on left knee

Howard set for precautionary MRI on left knee

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard will have a precautionary MRI on Monday to take a look at his sore left knee.

The power-hitting first baseman was held out of the Phillies' lineup Sunday against the Reds, and he said his knee was bothering him more than usual. Howard did not travel with the team to Miami on Sunday evening, but he was scheduled to join the Phillies on Monday after getting the MRI.

"Yesterday was when it really kind of kicked in more than normal," Howard said about his knee. "It's been acting up a little bit since Spring Training, but I've been able to tough it out. Yesterday, it kicked up a little bit, so we'll see."

Howard said he told manager Charlie Manuel that his knee was giving him some trouble before the game, and Manuel kept the lefty out of the lineup. Howard added he was available to play if needed, and was in the on-deck circle at one point, but did not enter the game. Manuel said he would be surprised if Howard played Monday when the Phillies open a three-game set in Miami.

The 2006 National League Most Valuable Player is hitting .245 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 41 games.