Phillies feeling the pain

 Posted by at 11:10 am
Jun 302010

June 30 Camden Courier-Post

“The Phillies are waiting to hear the prognosis for Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, which could change everything about their season and how they approach the July 31 trade deadline.

Both were placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, although both could be out much longer.

Utley suffered a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb Monday during the Phillies’ 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Polanco has been bothered by a sore left elbow since getting hit there by a pitch April 21.

Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan doesn’t know the extent of the injuries, the amount of time they’ll need to recover, or in Utley’s case, whether surgery is needed.

Utley and Polanco headed back to Philadelphia on Tuesday for more tests and opinions. Utley will see hand specialist Dr. Randall Culp, while Polanco will have another MRI on his elbow.

“I don’t have a lot of answers right now,” Sheridan said. “We’re deciding what needs to be done, what time frame we’re looking at, and these are decisions we have to make in the next couple days.”

Both are big losses.

Polanco was leading the team in hitting at .318 to go along with five homers and 27 RBIs. Utley was hitting .277 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs.

“When we lose Utley and (Polanco), that’s a big part of our lineup,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “At the same time, when things are rough things go bad, that gives someone else a chance. In the past, we’ve had guys come through for us. We’re kind of relying on that now.”

According to medical websites, Utley’s injury could take at least four weeks to heal. Sheridan said the sprain has to be graded. A Grade 1 sprain, the mildest form, is a partial torn ligament that could heal in four weeks without surgery.

A Grade 3 diagnosis is a ruptured ligament that would require surgery. That could take 4-6 weeks to heal, or possibly longer depending on the severity of the tear.”