Ryan Howard smiling again

Heel injury behind him, Phillies slugger has renewed sense of what really matters

Updated: April 1, 2013, 10:56 AM ET
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

If Opening Day means more to some people than to others, imagine what it means to a man who watched it last year from another baseball solar system.

That man is Ryan Howard, a fellow who now can once again call himself: first baseman, Philadelphia Phillies. A year ago this time, on the other hand, about all he could call himself was a physical disaster area.

He had a torn Achilles that hadn't healed. He was battling a nasty infection near the site of his heel surgery. His ...

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