Ryan Howard Injury: Slugger's Achilles Injury May Keep Him on Bench Until 2013

Matt FaulconerFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies is assisted off of the field after he was hurt on the last play of the game as the Phillies 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

This is not good for Philadelphia Phillies fans. Ryan Howard collapsed to the ground after grounding the ball to second base on the final out of the game.

The Phillies were eliminated from the playoffs after holding a 2-1 lead in the series, and then one of their star players fell to the ground in clear pain.

After the game, Ryan Howard spoke with Nate Mink of MLB.com about what happened. "I was trying to run, and I felt a pop. It felt like the whole thing was on fire. It felt like I was on a flat tire. I tried to get up, but couldn't go."

If this injury is as serious as it sounds, Howard may just miss all of 2012 according to NBC Sports.

As if Ryan Howard making the final out of the season for a second straight year wasn’t painful enough for Phillies fans, there’s a chance he could be sidelined when his five-year, $125 million extension kicks in next season.

Not many believed that Ryan Howard was worth the money when he signed this extension, including Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post.

The deal tethers the Phillies to a lumbering first baseman—at a staggering cost of $25 million annually (or a little less than one-fifth of its current payroll)—through his mid-30s, when players almost inevitably suffer significant declines in production. Such deals are how perennial champions turn themselves into bloated underachievers.

Sheinin is absolutely correct, and this injury makes the deal look even worse. Howard's contract won't end until he is 36 years old, and he is going to make $25 million sitting on the bench next year if this injury is as serious as initially believed.

Howard only hit .253 this year and has only hit better than .300 once in his career. He still had 33 home runs this year, and drove in 116 runs, but the simple fact of the matter is that Howard is not worth $125 million. He is without a doubt a great player, but this injury just reinforces that he is not worth the money.