Ryan Howard Injury: Achilles Injury Could Be Serious Enough to Affect 2012

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies stumbles as he runs out of the box on his ground out for the final out of the game as they lost 1-0 against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Divisional Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard's season ended last night in the most horrible fashion, suffering an injury on the final play of the team's do or die Game 5 of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Phillies lost the game, and may lose their first baseman for a while too.

Howard, who ironically is from St. Louis, could miss some of the 2012 season if the MRI, which he'll have Saturday, shows serious damage to his Achilles.

After the game Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweeted that Howard fears he might have torn the Achilles tendon.

Howard also explained what happened after the game:

"It felt like my bat came around and hit the back of my Achilles," Howard told reporters after the game, via CBS Sports. "I tried to run and felt a pop and it felt like the whole thing was on fire. I tried to run, but felt like I was literally on a flat tire. I tried to get up, but I couldn't go."

The injury was a cruel ending to a bad night all-around for Howard, who went 0-4 in the game as the Phillies offense scored zero runs against Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter.

Howard had just two hits in the five game series, with none of them coming in Games three through five.

Rehabbing from any significant damage to his Achilles could mean that Howard may miss a decent part of the 2012 season. At 31 years of age, Howard isn't exactly a young kid who could rehab faster than anticipated.

Including his performance in the NLDS against St. Louis, and the fact that he's not the player he once, Howard will be nearly impossible to trade with the $125 million left on his current contract through the 2016 MLB season.

The Phillies will have no choice but to hope their star slugger can rehab quickly if any damage is found.

Nicholas Goss is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report, follow him on Twitter for the latest sports news and updates.