Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Posted: 8:43 p.m.
By Jim Salisbury
PHOENIX Phillies reliever Jose Contreras will be out of action for three or four weeks after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain in his right elbow, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced on Tuesday night.
Contreras complained of soreness after his last outing, Thursday in San Diego. He had an MRI in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Its a very mild strain, Amaro said. Obviously you never want to see someone go on the disabled list, but this is good news for us. Its better than the alternative.
The alternative, of course, would have been surgery, which could have cost Contreras the season, or most of it.
Contreras will be shut down for seven to 10 days at which time hell begin a throwing program with the goal of having him back in games in a month, or sooner. Contreras had been closing for the Phils. Ryan Madson is now handling those duties.
There was much news on the injury front Tuesday, so lets get to it.
First the bad news: Double A infielder Harold Garcia is out for the year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Garcia set a Florida State League record by hitting in 37 straight games last season and Phillies officials view him as a big-league prospect. Now his climb to the majors will be slowed.
The better news: Outfielder Domonic Brown hit two home runs in an extended spring training game on Tuesday and will start an official 20-day minor league rehabilitation assignment with Single A Clearwater on Wednesday. Brown will be evaluated for several days before club officials decide whether to push him to a higher level of ball.
Brown has been out since early March after breaking the hook of the hamate bone in his right hand. Amaro was asked if he envisioned Brown contributing in the majors this season.
He could, Amaro said. It all depends on how he plays.
When Browns rehab stint ends, the Phillies can either bring him to the majors or option him to the minors.
In other injury news, second baseman Chase Utley continues to make progress in his recovery from patellar tendinitis in his right knee. He ran for the second straight day on Tuesday. The Phillies describe his status as day-to-day and will not reveal any timetable for his return, but Utley is clearly intensifying his work. Best guess: He could play sometime in mid-May.Reliever J.C. Romero(strained right calf) remains a couple of weeks away.Finally, Brad Lidge said Tuesday that strength tests have shown that the tear in his right rotator cuff has healed. He said he will be examined by team doctors in Philadelphia on Friday and could be cleared to start a throwing program on Saturday. Lidge expects to throw on flat ground for about a week, then long-toss for another week, before trying a week of bullpen work. If all goes well, he said he could be ready to pitch in minor-league games in less than a month.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.orgRelated: Phils lose; Oswalts poor outing raises questions Phils-D-Backs game notes: Hamels vs. Saunders