An MRI revealed the ruptured Achilles tendon. According to Phillies PR, Howard cannot have surgery until the swelling resolves, and recovery time won't be known until after the surgery is complete.
There is no guarantee he will be ready for spring training.
In other injury related news, first baseman Ross Gload will have his right hip re-examined and will likely have arthroscopic hip surgery.
Right fielder Hunter Pence and third baseman Placido Polanco will both have MRIs done to evaluate the extent of their sports hernias. The Phillies say Polanco will likely have surgery. The MRI will determine if Pence has to do the same.
Pitcher Cole Hamels will have surgery to remove what is described as "loose bodies" from his left elbow on October 14. Then a week later he is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct an inguinal hernia.