For the second year in a row, Ryan Howard's season will end on what would have to be termed a fluky, bordering on bizarre lower body injury.
Of course everybody remembers the torn left Achilles tendon the Philadelphia Phillies slugger suffered while leaving the batter's box on the final play of their disappointing first round loss to the St. Louis Cardinals last October. That led to a long offseason recovery that ended up extending deep into the 2012 regular season after Howard's incision wound developed an infection that required a second procedure to clean it on Feb. 27.
Not surprisingly, Howard suffered career lows across the board after finally returning on July 6, finishing the season with a .219 batting average, 14 homers and 56 RBIs, while appearing in only 77 games.
As for this year's season-ending injury though. Well, I'll let Todd Zolecki of MLB.com explain it:
Ryan Howard broke a toe when he dropped that led pipe he swings in the on deck circle on his foot. Manuel said he won't play again this year
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 29, 2012
Like I said, fluky, bordering on bizarre.
According to Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia, the mishap happened on Thursday and the Philadelphia Inquirer reports it happened during their 7-3 loss to the Nationals, although it's still unclear at what point it occurred. Howard was able to play all nine innings that evening, and was able to take one at-bat in their 2-1 loss to the Marlins in Miami on Friday, so it's possible he played several innings with the injury on Thursday.
But seriously, the bottom line here is Ryan Howard was done in a by a lead pipe. This one has endless Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan jokes written all over it.
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