Phillies' Howard to have surgery for serious Achilles injury

(Reuters) - Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard tore an Achilles tendon in Friday's season-ending loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and may not recover in time for the Phillies' pre-season training camp in February, the team said Saturday.

Howard suffered the injury on the final out of the game as he ran to first base after hitting a grounder to second baseman Nick Punto. He was expected to undergo surgery, the Phillies said in a statement on their website(philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/).

Howard, the 2006 National League's most valuable player, led the Phillies with 33 home runs and 116 RBI's this season while batting .253.

The team said right fielder Hunter Pence and second baseman Placido Polanco would have scans to evaluate the extent of their sports hernias, while left-handed starter Cole Hamels would have surgery on his left elbow.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Ian Ransom)