There appears to be a difference of opinion on his health. Polanco was not aware Manuel had labeled him "unavailable."
"I think I can play," Polanco said. "I just needed a few days. That's what I hope they think."
The Phillies hedged on Polanco before his return. They are impressed by Kevin Frandsen's play at third and wanted regular work for him upon Polanco's return. Polanco, 36, previously said he was unaware of any plans for splitting time.
All of it suggests what is becoming likelier by the day: Polanco's 2013 option will not be exercised. There will be a new everyday third baseman.
Manuel said he spoke to Polanco on Friday.
"I tell him every time I talk to him," Manuel said, " 'If you're hurting, playing definitely hurts you and it's also hurting your performance, and it's not good for our team. It's not good for you. It's not good for our team.'
"In order for Polly to help us he has to get well and he has to be 100 percent. Unfortunately, he's missed a lot of time the last two years."
The manager said Polanco agrees with that assessment. Polanco has also told the team he does not want to return to the disabled list.
That could be a point of contention between player and team.
"I know if I send one guy to pinch-hit early, all of a sudden we're short on the bench," Manuel said. "We need all 25 of our players. Right now, I wouldn't want to see him up to pinch-hit. The other night I wanted to put him in there, but he said it hurt when he took a swing."
Domonic Brown was not in Manuel's lineup for the first time since July 31, the day of his recall. Brown has soreness in his left knee, which he described as minor.
Brown had injured his right knee while at triple-A Lehigh Valley and regularly ices that knee after games. The two ailments are related, he thinks.
"I just need a day," Brown said. "I think I'm overcompensating for the other knee."
He started 23 games in a row. Brown was 0 for 4 Friday with two strikeouts and a double play. With tough lefty Gio Gonzalez throwing for Washington, Saturday made sense for a respite.
Brown pinch-hit Saturday and struck out in the seventh inning.
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz (broken toe) will begin a rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley on Sunday. He could remain there for up to five games. . . . Mike Stutes (shoulder surgery) is scheduled to begin throwing Sept. 3. David Herndon (Tommy John surgery) should begin a throwing program Oct. 16. Stutes is aiming to be ready for 2013, while Herndon will likely miss the first few months. . . . Friday marked the first time in Phillies history they used seven pitchers in a nine-inning game when allowing two or fewer runs.