September 25 Camden Courier-Post:
“Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he’s planning to have shortstop Jimmy Rollins return Sunday from his three-week absence with a strained right hamstring.
Rollins played in a simulated game Thursday, the team’s off day, and batted against pitchers Antonio Bastardo, David Herndon, Mike Zagurski and Vance Worley. Rollins, who also ran the bases, has been out since Sept. 8.
The Phillies want Rollins to return before the postseason so that he can get acclimated to major-league pitching and the speed of the game. Rollins had already missed 56 games this season, thanks to two stints on the disabled list with a calf strain.
If he returns for Sunday’s game against the New York Mets, Rollins will cap this absence at 14 games.
“The first game, there would be a speed adjustment,” Rollins said. “After that, it’s not bad. But if you’re out for a long time, like Chase (Utley) was, you’d get a headache (adjusting to the speed of the game).”
Manuel said he was encouraged by what he saw from Rollins. He said the shortstop might pinch-hit before Sunday. He wants Rollins to go out to shortstop during batting practice and field some ground balls, and hit some more before starting him in a game.
“Sometimes you put a guy in there and they take off,” Manuel said. “Other times, they think they’re ready, they have a couple of good days, and then they’re not ready at all.””
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