Phillies Notes: Rollins' return uncertain

Posted: June 08, 2010

Jimmy Rollins is no closer to a return to the Phillies' lineup.

The injured shortstop will go back to Clearwater, Fla., on Thursday to continue to rehabilitate his strained right calf. He has yet to run full-speed on the field and only began light jogging recently. Rollins said he would not be playing games yet when he goes to Clearwater.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he does not expect to have Rollins for the six-game trip against the Red Sox and Yankees, which begins Friday in Boston.

Beyond that, there is no clear timetable for a return, whether it is two weeks or a month.

"It better not be a month," Rollins said.

Rollins has played in just 11 of the Phillies' 56 games. He missed 30 games while on the disabled list the first time. When he came back from the injury, he said he felt completely healthy but only lasted 41/2 half games before reinjuring the calf.

Feeling good running during rehabilitation doesn't necessarily mean the calf has healed.

"Even if I do" run, Rollins said, "it's still not the same as if I hit the ball in the gap and the adrenaline goes with it."

That's the reason for taking extra precaution. Rollins said he is operating on the same schedule he did the first time on the disabled list. If that's the case, he has basically reached the halfway point: Rollins has missed 15 games during his second stint on the DL.

But the Phillies could decide to hold Rollins out longer. The 31-year-old shortstop said he wants to have an MRI exam a few days before he feels ready to come back just to make sure there are no problems lingering in the calf.

And when he does come back, he will not play every day.

"I probably need to build it up," Rollins said. "That's probably one thing we should have done the first time."

Rollins said he spoke with former major-leaguer and current ESPN analyst Aaron Boone, who also injured his calf multiple times during his career. Boone warned Rollins that he still feels the residual effects of the calf injury when he wakes up now.

"It's possible this will linger my whole life," Rollins said.

The Phillies are hoping that with some more time it can be a manageable injury for Rollins. In the meantime, Manuel will continue to use Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez at shortstop. Manuel said he has been alternating between the two reserves each day during the homestand to keep them fresh.

Rollins is left in a helpless position.

"You can't do anything," Rollins said. "It's different if you feel like you can actually go out there and contribute and you're being held back. . . . I could be a cheerleader, keep the guys loose, take them in the cage, tell them what I see, but other than that, I really can't do anything."

Lidge impresses Manuel

It's only three outings, but closer Brad Lidge has opened his manager's eyes.

"His command two nights ago was about as good as I've seen in a long time," Manuel said. "He looks good. He's in good spirits. He's happy. He looks like he has a lot of energy."

Entering Monday, Lidge had yet to allow a base runner in three appearances since returning from the disabled list. His ERA for the season was 1.42.

Extra bases

Manuel said he started struggling lefties Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez against lefthander Wade LeBlanc because he wants both to swing their way out of slumps. Ibanez entered the game hitting .209 (9 for 43) against lefties in 2010. . . . Before Monday's game, centerfielder Shane Victorino pledged $900,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia to form the Shane Victorino Foundation. With the money, the Boys & Girls Clubs will renovate their Nicetown building.

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