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Howard sits out again

CLEARWATER — Phillies 1B Ryan Howard missed workouts again Wednesday after a procedure Monday to remove an infection around his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon.

Howard, who had the original surgery in October, took part in workouts when camp opened but stopped after batting practice Saturday. He has been held out of all baseball activities since and left the team on Monday to see a specialist in Baltimore.

Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan could not give a timetable for when he expects Howard to resume his rehab.

"It's like a new wound," Sheridan said. "So we're going to have to protect that healing area. So they'll be some days where we just need to make sure that it continues to heal; that we don't set ourselves up for any more problems down the line."

Opening win: 3B Hector Luna's two-run homer keyed a five-run seventh as the Phillies beat Florida State 6-1 in Clearwater. Most regulars got the day off.

Jays: Moving over

DUNEDIN — Blue Jays manager John Farrell said SS Adeiny Hechavarria will practice at second base this week and play games there in preparation for a possible call-up this season.

"That doesn't mean we're looking to move him," Farrell said. "But in the event that we need some flexibility, he's our premier defender in the minor leagues."

Getting better: RHP Carlos Villanueva threw off a mound for the first time since being shut down with a right hand injury that might have been related to a circulation problem.

"It still felt a little cold," said Villanueva, set to throw a bullpen session Friday and live batting practice Sunday. "But it didn't hurt like it did last week."

Yankees: Catcher hurt

TAMPA — C Austin Romine suffered a "little bit of a setback" due to back inflammation, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. Romine has been out since Friday.

Girardi said the team will take its time before bringing him back.

"We want him to come back very stable and be very strong before we put him back," Girardi said. "He had an episode last year in August, so we want to just make sure that it's really strong."

Another back issue: 1B Russell Branyan, a nonroster invite, has a lower back problem. Girardi said there is no timetable for his return.

>>LOCAL CAMPS

Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Workouts begin: 10 a.m.

Info: bluejays.com/spring

training; (727) 733-0429

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Workouts begin: 10 a.m.

Info: phillies.com/spring

training; (727) 467-4457

Yankees

Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Workouts begin: 10 a.m.

Info: yankees.com/spring

training; (813) 879-2244

Howard sits out again 02/29/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 9:57pm]

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