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By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ryan Howard continues to take steps in his return from that Achilles injury he suffered while making the final out of the season in Game #5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals.

Today in Clearwater,  he took live batting practice for the first time since the injury.  Afterwards he sat down for an extended session with reporters.

Howard says he is pleased with how his rehab has gone to this point, but isn’t setting any specific date for when he hopes to get back in the line-up.

“I mean, I don’t know.  I’m not a time limit on it.  I’m going to listen to my body and see where we are.”

He talks about working his way back.

“When I was cleared to kind of start doing some stuff, I tried to attack it the best that I can and obviously like the cardio aspect of it was limited pretty much to just doing the stuff on the bike, and then I was able to get in the pool and kind of start doing some running and stuff like that in a pool.  But, really, in January I was able to kick it up a notch.”

And Howard says he is very confident that his teammates will be able to fill-in in his absence.

“We’ve got a bunch of good guys here, between (Jim) Thome, between Ty Wigginton, between (John) Mayberry, I feel like whoever they put there will be able to go out there and do the best they can.”

Howard hit 33 home runs in 2011.

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