"Frankly, a lot of guys have sports hernias," Amaro said. "It's a matter of whether the discomfort is so great that he can't play. If it is, we'll have a procedure done and go from there."
It's a chronic issue, Amaro said, because an MRI revealed scar tissue in Polanco's groin area that had built up over time. Amaro, always optimistic, believes surgery can be avoided.
"I think we can manage him through it," he said. "We'll find out more Friday."
Raul Ibanez played through a hernia in 2009 and underwent offseason surgery in the winter. Amaro said he does not think Polanco's injury is as serious as Ibanez's was.
"Ibanez's was pretty debilitating to him," Amaro said.
Polanco's current .275 batting average and .342 slugging percentage would mark career lows since his rookie season of 1998 when he appeared in only 45 games as a part-time player.
Between the back and hernia injuries, his steadying presence at the plate has been diminished greatly.
In the meantime, Amaro was adamant that Michael Martinez and Wilson Valdez would man third base - even if Polanco were absent for an extended period. Martinez started at third Monday for the second straight game.
"We have guys who can fill in fine," Amaro said. "They will be the ones who will play."
Righthander Scott Mathieson was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley after clearing optional waivers, which were required because of the length between his major-league debut and final option year. He started for the IronPigs on Monday and allowed one run in seven innings while striking out eight. He remains on the 40-man roster.
A second visit to orthopedist James Andrews merely confirmed the status quo for Joe Blanton on Monday. Andrews recommended that Blanton continue with his non-operative rehab for his balky right elbow. The Phillies are hopeful Blanton can return as a reliever sometime this season. But if suffers another setback, he will likely require a surgical procedure to transpose the ulnar nerve. Recovery for that, Amaro said, is two to three months.
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org or @magelb on Twitter.