By Kyle Scott
Saturday is the early favorite for worst Philly sports day of the year.
Upon waking up, we were treated to news that Chase Utley received a cortisone shot in his knee, an action that firmly cemented his tendinitis as an injury we should worry about.
A few hours later, the Flyers lost (at home) their third game in a row.
Shortly after that, while Villanova was hanging tough in a must win game against Pitt, news broke that Domonic Brown, the biggest wild card for the 2011 Phillies season, broke his hand.
An hour later, Villanova completed their late season collapse, losing to Pitt, 60-50.
The Flyers would continue to bottom out on Sunday and Villanova was a long shot (at best) to compete for a national title. But the already mounting health issues for the Phillies are what is most concerning.
Coming off of a season littered with injuries, the one thing – likely the only thing – that can stop the Phillies from being favorites to go to the World Series is, well, more injuries. And yet here we are, not more than three weeks into spring training, and we have already heard about injuries to three of the team’s most important players: Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, and Domonic Brown.
Luckily, Lee’s strained side seems to be a thing of the past – at least, if the way he pitched yesterday (http://www.crossingbroad.com/2011/03/cliff-lee-likes-it-when-you-mutter-to-yourself.html) was any indication.
Utley and Brown, however, have much more concerning ailments.
After first reporting it as “body soreness,” the Phillies finally acknowledged that Utley had an MRI which revealed tendinitis in his right knee. A week out from that announcement, Utley has made no progress, according to Ruben Amaro, who now says the injury could “perhaps” be more than just tendinitis. I don’t have to tell you that’s not good.
With Brown, the diagnosis is more clear. He will likely have his hamate bone removed from his right hand, the way many players have before. It is a common injury and a common surgery, which will reportedly be performed by the Phillies’ go to hand specialist, Dr. Randall Culp. Dr. Culp put nine screws in my right wrist, and judging by the frightening pace and accuracy of which I type these words, I’d hasten a guess that Brown is in good hands.
Of course, that won’t speed up the estimated six week recovery period. That means Brown, who had only one hit in spring training, will likely need to spend some time in the minors before ever seeing a Major League stadium.
Here we are, on March 7th, talking about injuries. Not the games. Injuries. There’s a good chance the Phillies will start the season without two of their anticipated starters.
Perhaps next weekend will bring us more positive topics.
This article reflects the opinion of Kyle Scott. Kyle Scott is the founder and editor of CrossingBroad.com, one of Philly’s top sports blogs, known for its sarcastic and irreverent take on the Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and Eagles.