Once he found out the details, Pujols was saddened.
"He's a great guy and we train together," Pujols said. "Anytime you see an injury like that happen to a great player like Howard, it is tough."
Howard is from the St. Louis area, and Pujols said they would work out together during offseasons.
"I wish him the best when he comes back, and hopefully, he will make a full recovery," Pujols said.
So much has changed since that fateful day for both the Phillies and Pujols.
Howard and Chase Utley, who has chronic trouble with both knees, have yet to play a game for the Phillies.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, went on to win the World Series, and Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels.
Pujols won two World Series rings with the Cardinals. The second one wouldn't have occurred had St. Louis not shown plenty of fight the entire postseason, including in the NLDS.
The Cardinals had to overcome many obstacles against the Phillies, including facing Roy Halladay in that decisive Game 5. Halladay did his part, but was outdueled by his friend Chris Carpenter, who limited the Phillies to three hits.
"We were going up against the best pitcher in the league and played pretty well, and our pitching did an outstanding job," Pujols said.
Many thought the key to the series was Game 2. The Phils won Game 1, 11-6, and led by 4-0 through three innings with Cliff Lee on the mound in Game 2.
The Cards came back to earn a 5-4 win. Pujols snapped a 4-4 tie with an RBI single off Lee in the seventh inning.
"Lee has been pitching great, but that is why you play the game 27 outs," Pujols said.
The Cardinals eventually trailed two games to one, but then beat Roy Oswalt and Halladay in the next two games to win the best-of-five series.
"It was a great experience, to be part of that series," Pujols said.
Things weren't so great for Pujols at the beginning of this season with his new team.
After going 0 for 4 in a 10-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on May 11, Pujols' batting averaged dropped to .192.
Over the last five weeks, he has begun to resemble the Pujols who entered the season with a .328 lifetime average and is considered by many to be his generation's greatest hitter.
Pujols entered Tuesday's game against the host Los Angeles Dodgers batting .260 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs.
Yet over his last 26 games, Pujols was hitting .350 (35 for 100) with eight home runs and 25 RBIs. The Angels were 18-8 in that span.
The Angels, who were once 7-15, entered Tuesday 33-29.
Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, email@example.com
or follow on Twitter @sjnard.