Joe Blanton Injury: Nerve Damage Found In Phillies Starter's Elbow

The last we heard from sidelined Phillies righty Joe Blanton, he was to rest his ailing right elbow for 3-4 weeks. After resting and picking up a throwing program, Blanton experienced renewed discomfort, and after being sent for examination, we have word on the matter. David Hale:

Blanton has nerve damage, more tests needed. Contreras had PRP injection. Both are a ways off. Blanton unlikely to start again in 2011.

Blanton's ligament is just fine - this we know - but the nerve damage is new, and the severity of the problem won't be known until Blanton undergoes more tests. What's clear, though, is that Blanton's 2011 season is in jeopardy. And not just as a starter - overall. He could conceivably return as a reliever, but there's no guarantee.

The good news for the Phillies is that they haven't missed Blanton that much, what with Vance Worley's 2.02 ERA and all. Blanton's expensive and under contract through 2012, which is bad, but what the Phillies are most concerned with is winning the World Series, and it doesn't appear that Blanton's absence is making that in any way less likely. They have baseball's best record and have been managing just fine.

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