Bulging disc keeps Polanco sidelined
Third baseman hopes to play in All-Star Game despite injury
PHILADELPHIA - The news Placido Polanco received about his ailing back was not what he nor Phillies fans wanted to hear.
However, it shouldn't keep the All-Star third baseman out long.
A visit with a back specialist Thursday in Philadelphia revealed a bulging disc in Polanco's back, which will keep him out of action for a fourth consecutive day in Friday's scheduled series opener against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
Polanco does not think he'll need to go on the disabled list, and his return to the lineup is considered day-to-day.
"I would like to play tomorrow or [Sunday], and then I can take my at-bat or two in the All-Star Game," said Polanco, who doesn't think his situation is as bad as Roy Oswalt's. Oswalt is likely out until August with bulging discs.
Polanco started taking a week-long regimen of anti-inflammatory oral medication Thursday. If that does not alleviate the pain, an injection will be needed.
Polanco last played Monday at Florida. He said his back has bothered him for the last month, but he's batting just .216 overall since April.
"You start compensating," he said. "Not even baseball, just walking."
Being selected by the fans as the National League's starting third baseman in Tuesday's All-Star Game is an achievement Polanco wants to honor, but he will have to decide in the next couple days whether he can play in Phoenix.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he wouldn't ask Polanco to sit out the All-Star Game.
"If he's hurt, then I would not want him to play," Manuel said. "But at the same time, I would never ever tell him not to play."
Victorino expects to miss minimum time
PHILADELPHIA -- Shane Victorino can flex his right thumb, but he can't grip a baseball or bat.
"I tried today," he said. "It wasn't very friendly."
The Phillies placed Victorino on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a sprained ligament in the thumb he injured on an embarrassing tumble in center field Sunday in Toronto. The Phillies recalled infielder Pete Orr from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place on the 25-man roster. Major League Baseball later announced Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier had replaced Victorino on the National League All-Star team. Victorino had won the Final Vote at MLB.com for the last roster spot Thursday.
"The results showed something different than we originally thought," Victorino said, referring to an MRI exam he had this week. "The results showed a partial tear."
Victorino said surgery is not necessary. He said he expects to be back when he is eligible to be activated on July 19 in Chicago.
The injury is a blow for the Phillies, who also were without third baseman Placido Polanco in Friday's series opener against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. (Polanco is suffering from a bulging disc in his back.) Victorino is hitting .303 with 14 doubles, nine triples, nine home runs, 34 RBIs, 53 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. He entered Friday tied for seventh in the NL with a .524 slugging percentage.
Despite the injury, Victorino said he still plans to join teammates Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Polanco at next week's All-Star Game in Phoenix.
"I don't want to waste everybody's efforts and not go," he said of the fans that voted for him. "I definitely want to go out there, put my Phillies uniform on and represent the Phillies at the All-Star Game. I won't be playing, but I'll be trying to get out there as quick as I can."
Phillies right-hander Jose Contreras has been on the disabled list since June 20 with a strained right forearm. He said Friday he expects to begin throwing again in New York following the All-Star break. ... Right-hander Brad Lidge (strained right rotator cuff) will make his third rehab appearance Saturday with Class A Lakewood. ... Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is uncertain when closer Ryan Madson (inflammation in right hand) will rejoin the bullpen. Madson started throwing off a mound this week.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Nate Mink is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.