For the fourth spring in a row, David Bell is battling an injury. The good news is that it's not his back. Bell missed considerable time in 2003 and 2005 because of a bad back, but is now hampered by a sore left elbow. Manager Charlie Manuel thinks the injury is simply from overuse and believes that Bell should be able to play in the Phillies first exhibition game of the spring that's coming up on Thursday.
Then, there's Pat Burrell. He had surgery on his right foot after last season to remove a bone spur and loose bodies in the foot that had bothered him off and on for a couple seasons. Sunday, he started experiencing some soreness in the foot, but it's not clear why. Like Bell, Burrell is hoping to play in the Grapefruit League opener against the Yankees on Thursday.
Ryan Howard has also been sidelined this spring, but not by an injury. He was sent to the hospital Sunday night with a fever of 103 degrees and signs of dehydration. He showed up at the spring training complex on Monday, but was sent home because of the fever. There is no word when he'll be able to practice.
While most of the problems have been with position players, reliever Chris Booker is also having physical problems. The right-hander, who is trying to make the team after being acquired from Detroit after the Rule 5 Draft last December, is having problems with his left knee, which he had surgery on during the off-season. He failed his physical last week and then failed stability tests on Monday. Booker was hoping to throw off the mound early this week, but now, it appears that won't happen until maybe as late as over the weekend.