Injury Update: Who's Ready; Who's Not

As spring training winds down, the Phillies are slowly getting a lot of their walking wounded back in action. Even though they're getting better, there are still some concerns and some of the injuries will cause some roster shuffling as the season opens.

Mike Lieberthal - For the first time this spring, Lieberthal caught back-to-back games for the Phillies on Monday and Tuesday nights. His pelvis injury appears to be a thing of the past, but that's just the problem; the injury was actually a recurrence of an old injury and there's no way of telling if the problem will redevelop during the season. Lieberthal appears ready to go and is swinging the bat well and playing without pain, so the Phillies are hopeful that all is well.

Brandon Duckworth - Duckworth threw one inning in a minor league game Tuesday night and needed just 13 pitches to retire the side. For the first time since March 9th when he left a game against Cincinnati with pain in his arm, Duckworth said he had absolutely no discomfort when he threw, which is a good sign. The plan is for Duckworth to pitch two innings in a minor league game on Friday and continue on extended spring training once the season begins. Duckworth will start the season on the DL and the Phillies hope that he'll return to the major league rotation by the time we're all filing our income taxes.

Jason Michaels - The battle for the final roster spot seemingly went to Nick Punto when Michaels developed a strained oblique muscle. On Tuesday, Michaels hit off a tee and was showing progress, but still had some discomfort. For now, the Phillies know that Michaels will start the season on the DL, but they're not sure of how the timetable for his return will go.

Tyler Houston - Good news and bad news. The good news is that Houston has recovered from the elbow tendonitis that he suffered from earlier this spring, but now has sore ribs. The latest injury came when he was hit by a pitch in the left side Saturday against Boston. The injury didn't show immediately, but as time wore on, Houston felt more and more pain. For now, he's listed as day-to-day and the Phillies acknowledged that he may have to start the season on the DL.

Turk Wendell - The reports on Wendell have gone back-and-forth. There were broadcast reports out of Philly that Wendell's career was over because of injuries, but pitching coach Joe Kerrigan told the media that Wendell's career isn't done yet. Wendell had a good bullpen session and played long toss, but left the team to attend to personal issues at his home in Colorado, so his status right now is unknown, although he will definitely start the season on the DL.

David Coggin - The Phillies had hoped that Coggin would be able to throw in the bullpen Monday, but that session was abruptly cancelled and there aren't any immediate plans for Coggin to pitch. For now, the progress is very slow and Coggin will also start the season on the DL.

Bud Smith - There is some good news about Smith, who the Phillies picked up as part of the Scott Rolen trade last season. Smith has been throwing in the bullpen and will pitch an inning Wednesday against Toronto. If all goes well, Smith will be ready to start the season at AAA Scranton.

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