By Sam Bush
The Phillies have finally divulged what’s ailing pitcher Andrew Painter.
He sustained a right proximal ulnar collateral ligament sprain last week and will rest for four weeks from the date of the injury before beginning a light tossing progression
Painter came into camp on March 2 with a “tender” elbow after pitching the day before. He underwent an MRI on March 3 that revealed the sprain, the team said, and sought a second opinion from well-known surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Painter threw 29 pitches in a Grapefruit League game on March 1, allowing one run on three hits in two innings.
While many UCL sprains can heal with rest, it’s possible whenever Painter resumes his throwing program in April that he still experiences pain, and the club has to reassess the situation.
The Phillies anticipate Painter pitching for them at some point this season, but the general rule is for every week of rest, a week of throwing is required to return to form. That puts Painter, in a best-case scenario, back in games by May. Until then, Bailey Falter is likely to round out the rotation as the fifth starter.