Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on Sunday defended his team's handling of Ryan Howard's ankle injury last summer.

"We always have our players' best interests in mind," Amaro said during a short and hastily called address to reporters during Sunday's game against Boston.

Amaro summoned reporters in response to a Philadelphia Inquirer article that wondered whether a cortisone injection used to treat bursitis in Howard's left ankle in September might have contributed to the ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered on Oct. 7. Howard still has not returned to the Phillies lineup and is working out in Florida.

The Inquirer quoted medical personnel as saying the use of cortisone could compromise the strength of a tendon.

The newspaper tried to get comment from the Phillies during the reporting of the story, but the team declined to make team physician Mike Ciccotti available.

That left Amaro seeking out reporters and telling his team's side of the story Sunday. Amaro said he wanted to address "the insinuation" that Howard was not cared for properly.

Amaro said the cortisone injection used to treat Howard's bursitis was overseen by specialists.

"We didn't feel there was any issue," Amaro said. "In fact, Dr. Ciccotti and I discussed this because we knew about some of the issues that surround using cortisone in that area, the Achilles. So we were very comfortable and just wanted to make sure that was clear."