CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies won't say Ryan Howard had a "setback."
They will say that they're not sure when he'll be able to resume workouts.
However they phrase it, it can't be great news that Howard's surgically repaired Achilles tendon became infected.
Howard, who ruptured his Achilles tendon on the Phillies' final play of the 2011 playoffs, had a procedure done Monday to clean out the wound. Howard was then placed on antibiotics. The procedure was significant enough that Phillies athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said, "It'll be like a new wound."
The good news, Sheridan said, is that once doctors went in and looked, they found that the repaired Achilles tendon is "intact and not compromised."
Howard had been able to take batting practice and some other limited drills. He's not yet far enough in his rehabilitation for the Phillies to set a timeframe for his return, one of the reasons they can avoid talking about setbacks.
"I don't prefer to use that word," Sheridan said.
So will this keep him out of baseball activity for days, or weeks?
"I truly don't know," Sheridan said.
Howard, who went to Baltimore to see the doctor who operated on him, is expected back in Phillies camp this afternoon.