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Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins might need Tommy John surgery but could still be ready for spring training

The first baseman is still hoping to return for the final four games of the regular season despite the injury to his left elbow.

The future for Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins is up in the air.
The future for Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins is up in the air.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Rhys Hoskins is still hoping to return for the final four games of the regular season, but the injury to his left elbow could require Tommy John surgery this offseason.

Hoskins said he has a small “gap” in the ulnar collateral ligament of his non-throwing arm, which he injured last week in Miami when tagging a runner at first base. If the gap does not close, Hoskins would likely have surgery in October.

“I was told because it’s the non-throwing arm that it’s not as long as a normal elbow surgery recovery time,” Hoskins said. “I was told three to four months is the usual time, so I believe that puts me right at spring training, maybe a little before. I don’t think anything in terms of next year will be affected.”

Hoskins will return this season if he is able to regain the grip strength in his left hand. He’s on the injured list until at least Sept. 23. Hoskins said his grip was stronger Wednesday than it was over the weekend, but he has yet to swing a bat. He could play this season and still have surgery.

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

The Phillies will miss Hoskins in the lineup as he homered nine times in 19 games before being injured on Saturday night. Even if he can play just four games, his return would be a boost. Hoskins is the team’s second-most productive hitter this season and is a big reason why they’re still in the playoff hunt. The Phillies will try to remain there without Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto, who is sidelined until at least Friday with hip soreness.

“I’m more bummed and frustrated more than anything,” Hoskins said. “We spent the last 45 games battling. We had some obstacles that we had to overcome and to continue to be a part of the group that overcame those obstacles is something that I was really looking forward to. This has been such a weird season, something that we had to navigate as a group. I wanted to be able to finish that, to see it through on the field. There’s still a chance that I will be able to do that, but not being able to do that on such an important part of the season is tough.”

Extra bases

Right-hander Jake Arrieta was placed on the injured list with a strained right hamstring after leaving his start on Tuesday night. Arrieta would not be eligible to return before the final series of the season, but it’s possible that his season is finished. Connor Brogdon was recalled from Allentown. ... Aaron Nola will face Mets right-hander Seth Lugo in Thursday’s series finale.