Hospitalized twice over the weekend because of flu-like symptoms, Ryan Howard could be back in the Phillies' lineup tonight when the club begins a nine-game road trip that starts with the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays.

Howard yesterday was diagnosed with acute sinusitis by the team physician, Marc Harwood. He did not make the trip with the team to Tampa last night.

"After reviewing previous tests and evaluating him, Dr. Harwood has diagnosed him with acute sinusitis," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. "His fever is gone and he will rest at home. If he feels better, Ryan will travel [today] to Tampa Bay to rejoin the team. We are hopeful he will be able to play as well."

Howard, who has 20 home runs, went to Mercy Suburban Hospital in Norristown after Friday night's game against the Orioles with a temperature that reached 104 degrees, according to the club. He didn't start Saturday's game, but his three-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning gave the Phillies a 5-3 lead. They eventually lost, 6-5.

He returned to the hospital early Sunday and had a CT scan and was too ill to attend Sunday's game, ending his consecutive-games streak at 343, which was the longest in the majors.