Phillies' Polanco happy with first rehab game

Placido Polanco is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Placido Polanco is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Posted: July 29, 2011

ALLENTOWN - Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco began his rehabilitation assignment yesterday with the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. At the end of his six-inning stint, he reported, "I feel really good."

Sidelined with back inflammation and a bulging disk, Polanco was placed on the disabled list on July 15 (retroactive to July 5). He is scheduled to play for Lehigh Valley again tonight and expects to rejoin the Phillies tomorrow, when they play the second of a three-game series against visiting Pittsburgh.

Polanco said he was free of pain for the first time "in almost 2 months."

He called it, "a big relief."

"I am so happy," he said. "I feel like I can breathe again."

In a game against Pawtucket with the unusual start time of 11:05 a.m., Polanco got three at-bats. Against starter Matt Fox, he grounded out sharply to second in the first and fourth innings and drew a walk in the sixth inning. He was removed for a pinch-runner.

He had just one chance in the field, a popup in shallow left that he fielded cleanly in the sixth.

Polanco said he did not want to push himself too hard yesterday. He is expected to play nine innings this evening. He said he hopes to get a chance to run more than he did yesterday, perhaps even show how his back responds to sliding into a base.

"I did dive for a ground ball that was in the hole," he said. "It was far from me, but I was anxious to test it."

Polanco added that he was also eager to see if he had any pain this morning.

"I understand there will be soreness, but I hope it is good soreness," he said. Asked to define "good soreness," Polanco explained: "Ever go to the gym and work out? That is good soreness."

Polanco was batting .274 in 83 games when he was placed on the disabled list. He was voted the National League's starting third baseman for the All-Star Game, but did not play.

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