Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr could be back much sooner than first anticipated.
Altherr suffered a hamstring injury on a double July 14 in Milwaukee. The injury wasn't believed to be serious until Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock told reporters the outfielder would miss three to four weeks with a "mild to medium" hamstring strain earlier this week. However, Pete Mackanin said before Saturday's game that Altherr could return when eligible to come off during next week's series against the Astros.
Altherr's return could muddle the Phillies' outfield situation with the emergence of rookie Nick Williams. Veteran trade candidates Howie Kendrick and Daniel Nava could be moved to create at-bats for the intriguing trio of Altherr, Williams and Odubel Herrera. If not, both veterans can play the infield or see their roles reduced after Altherr's return.
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Altherr has been one of the bright spots in the Phillies' lineup, hitting .288 with 14 homers and 44 RBIs. His injury came at an inopportune time. He was 7 for his last 15 with a homer and three RBIs.