PHOENIX -- Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown, who broke the hook of the hamate bone in his right hand on March 5 during a Spring Training game, will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Wednesday, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. Brown, projected as the Opening Day right fielder, has since been supplanted by Ben Francisco.
After surgery, Brown was supposed to be out three to six weeks. It's now approaching two months.
He will begin his rehab at Class A Clearwater.
"Right now he's scheduled to play three or four games at Clearwater and we'll see what happens after that," Amaro said.
How Brown now fits into the Phillies' picture once he returns is still up to question.
"We just want to get him to play. He hasn't played in a long time," Amaro said. "He's starting to swing the bat better. He started very slowly at extended [spring training]. Today, he hit two home runs and went 4-for-5 or something like that. He's progressed much faster over the last few days, so we think he's ready for Clearwater. Can have an impact on the big league team this year? We'll see how he plays."
Brown batted .210 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 35 games last season for the Phillies.
Meanwhile, Minor League second baseman Harold Garcia suffered an injury to his right knee and will be out for the season, Amaro added.
"He's scheduled to have surgery to repair his ACL on Monday, unfortunately," he said.
Amaro added that Garcia hurt the knee in a collision. A utility player, Garcia, 24, was hitting .300 with three doubles, two homers and four RBIs in 12 games for Double-A Reading.
Phils reliever Contreras out three to four weeks
PHOENIX -- After an MRI and further examination in Philadelphia on Tuesday, right-hander Jose Contreras will be out for three to four weeks, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
The MRI substantiated the diagnosis that Contreras has a flexor pronator strain on the inside of his right elbow. Amaro said he will be shut down from throwing for 10 days and then a program of rehabilitation will be determined after that period.
Contreras was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday and right-hander Michael Stutes was elevated from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
"It was a Grade 1 strain, which is very mild and good news for us," Amaro said prior to Tuesday night's game between the Phillies and D-backs at Chase Field. "We're going to shut him down for about 10 days from throwing. Hopefully we can get him back in about three to four weeks pitching [in the Majors]. It's positive news. You don't want to go to the DL, but it's better than the alternative [possible surgery]."
Contreras suffered the injury this past week.
With regular closer Brad Lidge on the disabled list indefinitely because of a sore right shoulder, Contreras was moved into that role. Contreras had pitched in eight games, saving five in his five opportunities. He pitched five times in seven games from April 15-21, including three in a row, although that trio of games was broken up by a rainout.
His last appearance was this past Thursday night in a game he saved at San Diego. Right-hander Ryan Madson saved the games on Friday and Saturday, and with Contreras down, Antonio Bastardo came on in the ninth to save the game on Sunday after Roy Halladay threw 130 pitches.
Madson, the third option, is now the closer.
Lidge, who is expected to be out until the All-Star break, will see Phillies team physicians later in the week with the hope of at least beginning a program of soft toss, Amaro said.
"He feels pretty good," Amaro said about Lidge. "He's kind of champing at the bit right now. We want to make sure that [the doctor] sees him before he starts throwing."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.