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How long could Kingery, Neris, Hunter and Suárez be out for?

On July 1, the Phillies placed Scott Kingery, Héctor Neris, Tommy Hunter and Ranger Suárez on the 10-day injured list with an undisclosed injury. Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that those four players were placed on the COVID-19 list:

When Joe Girardi was asked to elaborate on their status on a Zoom call with reporters, he said “What I can tell you is that they’re on the injured list and that’s what I can tell. MLB has given us protocols on how to handle it.” Teams are not allowed to publicly discuss individual coronavirus cases among players.

Héctor Neris was among the four Phillies placed on the 10-day injured list. (Cheryl Pursell)

Girardi was also asked whether or not he agreed with Mets manager Luis Rojas, who said it will likely require a minimum three-week ramp-up period for players to return to the field after they test positive for the virus.

“I think that’s very possible,” Girardi said. “Because if you’re quarantined for 14-days, you’re already at two weeks. Then you have to pass two tests. Consecutive tests. And then you have to see your doctors.

“And if you’re quarantining for 14 days, you’re probably not feeling great and you’re probably not going to be doing a lot of things in either your hotel room or your small apartment. I guess you can put the mattress against the wall and throw against the mattress, but you’re not going to be doing much. So it’s going to take time to get ’em back in baseball shape and that’s probably why his thinking was three weeks. “

It will hard to pinpoint exactly when these players can come back, but seems likely that multiple players from the group of four could miss Opening Day. We do know that the first positive tests out of Clearwater came back on June 18, with the report coming out the following day. On June 23, two more players, including one player outside of Clearwater, tested positive for the virus. Matt Gelb of The Athletic reported Thursday that at least one of Kingery, Neris, Suárez or Hunter could return as early as this weekend.

When Girardi was asked about the possibility of the four players missing Opening Day, he said “I think you have to look at all the possibilities.”

In a few hours, we will learn more about the number of players who tested positive for coronavirus. This could mean more positive tests for a Phillies roster that was already hit with an outbreak. At the very least, we know about the many players who have tested negative upon arrival since they have already began working out at Citizens Bank Park over the past few days. Those players include Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jake Arrieta, Adam Morgan and Andrew Knapp.


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