Phillies slugger Ryan Howard takes first batting practice since injury

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Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard took batting practice Wednesday for the first time since rupturing his Achilles tendon, according to Howard was injured trying to leg out a ground ball that ended the NLDS.

Howard is slated to return to the Philadelphia lineup by the middle of May, and he is using that final at-bat as fuel in his recovery.

"It sucks. I'm not going to lie," Howard said Wednesday, according to the report. "I know how it looks to everybody -- having the season come down to that guy the last two seasons. I try to stay positive. I figure, hey, the last two seasons I got out.