While the Phillies prepared for a brief, two-game series at Wrigley Field, Vance Worley
was back in Philadelphia having his ailing right elbow examined.
Elbow injuries can cost pitchers a while season. So you're not making too big of a leap assuming that Worley was probably a little nervous as he awaited today's MRI results.
Thankfully for the 24-year-old right-hander and the Phillies, the results were encouraging.
Worley's MRI revealed no structural damage. He will be shut down for a week in the hope that the inflammation in his elbow will subside and he'll only miss two or three starts.
"There’s inflammation in the posterior joint. No structural
damage," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday. "Right now we’re going to shut him down for a week from throwing. And
then we’ll get him reevaluated and hopefully by that time he’ll start another
throwing program. Generally its pretty good news. When you don’t have
structural damage - as far as the
future is concerned – that’s a good
Worley threw his normal, between-starts bullpen session Sunday and, according to Amaro, felt a little more discomfort and stiffness than normal. But the injury has been a progressive one, not something that stemmed from one incident or one game.
As for when Worley could return, Amaro said he wouldn't be able to gauge that until Worley begins throwing again.
"We have no idea how long its going to take, we’ll just see
after he’s reevaluated after a week of getting shut down whether he can start
throwing and then we’ll know how he feels after that, and we’ll know how long
it will take to get him back," Amaro said.
Kyle Kendrick will step into Worley's place in the rotation, just as he stepped in for Cliff Lee last month. Kendrick, who rebounded from an ugly start last month in Phoenix to deliver two decent games before Lee returned, will make his fourth start of the season tonight at Wrigley.
More notable news from the north side of Chicago:
-- Chase Utley (left knee) took ground balls during batting practice. It's the first time he's taken infield work in three weeks, when he worked out with the Phillies at Chase Field in Arizona. Utley rejoined the Phils after a month-long stay in Phoenix 11 days ago, but hadn't felt comfortable with his knees to take infield work until today.
-- Ryan Howard and Jim Thome are both hitting off live pitching in Clearwater. Howard (left Achilles') is also taking part in fielding drills and doing light running exercises, too -- pretty much the same stuff he was able to do when spring training camp opened three months ago.
Thome (back) was eligible to return from the DL on Monday, but he'll need to play in at least few rehab games to get his bat back in game shape.