Howard Leaves Game With Sprained Ankle

X-rays showed no sign of a break or fracture

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard left Sunday’s game against Washington with a sprained left ankle.

It was a painful few minutes for Howard. Washington starter John Lannan hit him on the right elbow with a pitch before Ben Francisco singled to drive in the Phillies' first run.

Howard had to scramble back to second base to avoid being tagged out on a relay throw. He hit the bag and his ankle rolled.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and a trainer had to help Howard off the field.

X-rays were taken on both his ankle and elbow. Both were negative. The slugger said he hoped to avoid the disabled list.

"It's just swollen. It's tight, sore. Other than that, it's not too, too bad,'' Howard said as he walked out of the clubhouse on crutches.

He wasn't savoring his initial sprain, though. "It was my first time. I wouldn't recommend it for anybody," he deadpanned.

Howard, who had sat out his first game of the season on Saturday night, is in an 0 for 14 slump.

The Phillies have two starters -- second baseman Chase Utley (sprained right thumb) and center fielder Shane Victorino (abdominal strain) -- on the disabled list.

Left fielder Raul Ibanez was a late scratch from Sunday’s game with a sore left wrist.  Ibanez hurt the wrist diving for a ball in Saturday night’s game.

Despite the injuries, the Phillies were still able to pull off a 6-4 win in the 11th inning.

Howard is batting .292 with 23 home runs and 81 RBIs.

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