Chase Utley traveled to New York on Thursday for a second opinion on his thumb, which turned out to be bad news. The diagnosis was a torn ligament, in fact, the ligament was torn from the bone, which was the worst possible news for the Phillies second baseman.
Rather than waiting any longer to start the healing process, Utley underwent immediate surgery to repair the damage and start the clock ticking to count down the time that he'll be out of the Phillies lineup. The best estimate is eight weeks.
Utley injured the thumb sliding into second base Monday night and there was hope that Utley could return in some time shorter than eight weeks, but those hopes were dashed by the opinion that he received yesterday in New York.
Meanwhile, infield mate Placido Polanco, who like Utley, was placed on the DL on Tuesday, also got a second opinion on his injured elbow. Polanco was diagnosed with tendinitis and will miss three to four weeks of action.
To make matters worse, catcher Brian Schneider, who has been playing everyday because of an injury to Carlos Ruiz, also suffered a thumb injury in Thursday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Schneider was hit in the left thumb by a couple of foul balls and suffered what has initially been diagnosed as a hyper-extended thumb. He will be re-evaluated on Friday and is listed as day-to-day right now, but Schneider did report that the thumb felt better after he came out of the game and was able to rest.
As for Ruiz, he underwent more tests Thursday in Pittsburgh to determine the severity of the concussion that sent him to the DL and he also got bad news. Ruiz suffered undisclosed setbacks from the concussion and likely will not be activated when he is eligible to come off the DL this weekend.
Dane Sardinha took Schneider's place in the lineup and Paul Hoover would be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley if Schneider's injury will cause him to miss much time.