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Phillies First Baseman Ryan Howard to Meet With Team Docs In Philly.

WASHINGTON - JULY 30:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after striking out against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 30, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Bradley ChandlerCorrespondent IAugust 3, 2010

Philadelphia, PA- Just when you thought it could not get worse for the Philadelphia Phillies the injury struggles increased and, pending results, could send another Phillie to the overloaded disabled list.

What was thought as a minor sprain for Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard could turn into something more severe as Howard was sent back to Philadelphia yesterday to meet with team doctors.

Howard suffered the sprain in the first inning of the Phillies game three extra-innings-win against the Washington Nationals. Howard was taken for an MRI and X-Ray immediately and neither test showed a fracture.

After the teams off-day Monday the decision was made to send Howard back to Philadelphia to meet with team physician Michael Ciccotti to address the situation.

When speaking with the media Howard seemed optimistic and hopeful the sprain was not severe.

"I guess once the swelling goes down, we'll see what happens"

For the meantime the Phillies will rely on bench players Cody Ransom and Ross Gload to platoon at first base.

Missing out on Howard's bat could be tragic for the Phillies as he is leading the NL in RBI with 81 and his 119 hits is a team best.

No word if Howard will be sent to the disabled list but if that happens it will leave outfielder Jayson Werth as the only Phillies starter not to hit the DL.

The Phillies are currently three games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and three and a half games back in the wild card.

Ibanez optimistic about return.

After missing Sunday's game against the Washington Nationals outfielder Raul Ibanez seem optimistic he will be back in the lineup against the Florida Marlins. Ibanez was held out of Sundays game due to a sore left wrist.

Complete Phillies Coverage on Eternal Mulligan or Twitter.

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