That's how spoiled everyone has been in watching Howard blast home runs since coming onto the scene in 2004. In a full season of playing time, Howard had never hit less than 45 home runs until 2010, when a left ankle sprain hobbled him in August, costing him three weeks on the disabled list. It may have also cost him some power, as his home runs per at-bats dropped to 17.74 after a 2004-09 mark of 12.1.
As he tells MLB.com, Howard isn't quite fully healed yet, with the ankle at just 90 to 95 percent health.
"I still get a little bit of stiffness every once in a while," Howard said. "I'll take it now and see what happens in Spring Training. I'll just continue to look after it and take care of it. Those kinds of things linger, like the Cranberries."
Well, there you have it. Howard just compared his ankle injury to the Cranberries.
What else did Howard have to say about his ankle?
"It feels good," he said. "It's a lot better than it was. I got a lot of work done to it. I got a lot of the swelling out. Like I said, every once in a while, I get a little bit of stiffness or soreness, but I've been working out, and so far, so good."-- Evan Brunell