Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. offered some mildly encouraging news on Ryan Howard's condition Monday, but the slugging first baseman still has not been cleared to ramp up baseball activities.



Howard, who on Feb. 27 had a procedure to clean out an infection around the area of his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon, was examined by a wound specialist in Philadelphia on Monday. Amaro declined to name the specialist.



In short, Amaro said, Howard still has a wound on the back of his ankle. It is getting smaller, but it has not healed to the point where doctors are comfortable letting him run or swing a bat.