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Could Rhys Hoskins return before the end of the regular season?

While the Phillies playoff hopes have taken a dramatic hit since Monday, the team is slowly getting better on the injury front.

Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto are playing, albeit not at 100 percent. Spencer Howard and Jake Arrieta could be back for the playoffs if the Phillies pull off a miracle and make it.

The Phillies have struggled mightily without Rhys Hoskins in the lineup. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Rhys Hoskins is making progress. According to Joe Girardi, Hoskins took “dry swings” on Wednesday and felt better today than he did Tuesday.

However, it’s highly unlikely Hoskins will play another game during the regular season. When asked if Hoskins could be available, Girardi said “I wouldn’t think so.”

It’ll be tough for the Phillies to make the postseason, but there is a path forward for them. They just won’t have arguably their best bat in the lineup to help them.

“I think it’s definitely harder when you don’t have all your players, but other teams have to deal with that too,” Girardi said before Wednesday’s game. “And you just have to find a way. Someone has to step up and help out in those situations.

“We haven’t had him for [11 days] and we really miss Rhys’ bat and the way he grinds them out. Other teams have had to deal with it. So do we.”

Before suffering a UCL strain in his left elbow, Hoskins was on the verge of putting together one of the best offensive seasons of his young career. He batted .245 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs. His .503 slugging percentage and .887 OPS in 2020 had been his highest since his breakout rookie campaign in 2017. Since losing Hoskins in Miami, the Phillies have lost nine of their last 13 games.

Hoskins and the Phillies could opt for Tommy John surgery in the offseason to repair the injury. Needing the surgery at some point would not end his season as Hoskins could come back if his grip strength returns and he feels well enough. Opting for surgery would not impact his ability to return in time for the 2021 season since the recovery timetable for him is approximately three to four months.

“The fact that it’s non-throwing really throws a wrench in that conversation,” Hoskins said on Sept. 16 when asked if he is leaning towards surgery in light of the relatively short recovery time frame.

“Anytime you can avoid going under the knife, you want to. We’ll have to decide with the help of the medical team whether or not the elbow is strong enough or I am not compensating other places within the swing. If I’m not, then I believe surgery is still on the table for that and if I can get through it without compensating other places and putting other parts of my body at risk, it’ll just be rest and rehab.”

In other injury news, Arrieta is still getting treatment and throwing, but has not thrown a bullpen session yet. Howard threw a bullpen session Wednesday. The initial report on it was good, but the team needs to see the video of it and speak with him on Thursday to make an evaluation on his status. Howard could return and work out of the bullpen during the final series against Tampa Bay.


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