An MRI and a dynamic ultrasound revealed no structural damage in the prized left elbow of the World Series MVP.
Hamels is merely suffering from an inflammation, and has received an injection to treat it.
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As for the prognosis, the Phillies are being pretty guarded. There is no public timetable for his return, but they are hoping he'll be ready to go early in the season. Both their trainer and general manager stressed that a baseball season is a marathon, and not a sprint.
"Certainly, we have our concerns," Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said. "But I agree with Ruben. Our biggest thing is that it's a long season. We need him for the majority of it. We're really not that worried about Opening Day. We've got to have him for the whole season. Not just one day."
This is absolutely the correct move by the Phillies. It's better to be cautious than to rush someone back just for an Opening Day start. If he does try to come back too soon and injures his elbow, it would be a devastating blow to the world champs.
If Hamels is unable to make the Opening Day turn -- and we'd have to conclude that's a very likely scenario -- Brett Myers is a good candidate to get the ball. Why not make some history, though, to take some of the spotlight off Hamels' tweaked wing?
If Jamie Moyer makes the start, he would be the oldest Opening Day starter in major league history -- toppling the crafty knuckle-baller, Charlie Hough (1994, Marlins; 46 years, 90 days old). Moyer will be 46 years, 138 days old on Sunday, April 5, when the Phillies open against Atlanta.
Baseball-Reference.com never ceases to amaze me.