Phillies 1B Howard cleared for light exercising

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Ryan Howard has been cleared to do some light exercises in a walking boot, more than two weeks after he needed a procedure to remove an infection around his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon.

It's still uncertain when the 2006 NL MVP will return to the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup, and he certainly will start the season on the disabled list.

"Right now, I just got cleared to do a little bit of modified stuff, so basically riding a bike, doing a little leg motion-type stuff, trying to do what I can so when I'm actually out of the boot I can hit the ground running," Howard said. "I'm going to try to stay optimistic and see what happens, but like I've said before, there's really no time limit on it.

"Once it's 100 percent, we'll go from there."