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Phillies slugger Ryan Howard takes first batting practice since injury

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.