MILWAUKEE — After finding out that the Phillies were calling him up, Scott Kingery chatted with a friend from back home about his long-awaited return to the big leagues.

“He said, ‘You do realize it’s legit only been a year,’” Kingery said Tuesday. “And I was like, ‘It doesn’t seem like that. It feels like it’s been three years.’ To me, it felt like forever.”

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They’re both correct. One year to the day that the Phillies erased Kingery from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to triple A, they brought him back to help their injury-ravaged infield. But it has been a long year for the former top prospect, who endured a demotion and a 10-month recovery from shoulder surgery.

Kingery didn’t start the opener in Milwaukee, and with the Phillies scheduled to face two more right-handed starting pitchers in the series, interim manager Rob Thomson said it’s doubtful he will be in the lineup Wednesday night or Thursday, either.

But judging from the permanent smile on Kingery’s face, he was just happy to be back under any circumstances.

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“It came as a little bit of a shock to me,” said Kingery, who was 10-for-54 (.185) with one homer and a .593 on-base plus slugging percentage in 16 games for Lehigh Valley. “But any time you get the call-up, it’s a good feeling.”

The Phillies didn’t intend to call on Kingery so quickly. But they’ve been beset by injuries over the last week, losing second baseman Jean Segura (broken right index finger) and replacements Nick Maton (sprained right shoulder) and Johan Camargo (right knee strain).

After Camargo left Sunday’s game, the Phillies hoped he might be able to avoid the injured list. But Thomson explained that the training staff advised that Camargo stands a better chance of making a complete recovery if he sits out 10 days rather than trying to play through the injury.

“Hopefully we get Camargo sooner because of this,” Thomson said of putting him on the IL. “Because he’s really helped the ballclub. He can really defend. He’s played great. He’s got some big hits for us lately. We’d like that back.”

The earliest Camargo can return is June 16. Maton can’t come back before June 14, although the Phillies don’t have a timetable yet for his return.

In the meantime, Bryson Stott figures to get most of the playing time at second base, with Didi Gregorius at shortstop. But Kingery is the only other healthy middle infielder. The Phillies also talked about calling up shortstop Yairo Muñoz, who is hitting .317 in 142 at-bats for Lehigh Valley, but he fouled a ball off his foot over the weekend.

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And so, Kingery got the call only three weeks after completing his rehab from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

“It’s been good to go out there and just play after being away and not being able to play for 10-11 months,” Kingery said. “It’s good to go out there, get back in some game situations, and just kind of refigure things back out.”

Kingery’s story is well-known. The Phillies signed him to a six-year, $24 million deal on the eve of the 2018 season before he had played a big-league game. A natural second baseman, he struggled as a rookie, batting .226/.267/.339 with eight homers while bouncing between several positions. But he bounced back in 2019, batting .258/.315/.474 with 19 homers.

A bout with COVID-19 and multiple injuries torpedoed Kingery’s 2020 season. His swing got long and loopy, his strikeout rate soared, and he got sent to the minors in spring training last year. The Phillies finally designated him for assignment in June, and he had surgery one month later.

Since the beginning of the 2020 season, Kingery has batted .144/.204/.250 with three homers and 47 strikeouts in 143 plate appearances in the majors.

Kingery said he was unaware of the recent spate of injuries at the major-league level. He traveled Monday with the triple-A club to Omaha, Neb. It was only after arriving that he found out from manager Anthony Contreras that the Phillies were calling him up.

The Phillies also called up outfielder Matt Vierling, giving them an extra bench player for the next few days. Ace pitcher Zack Wheeler was placed on the paternity list after the birth of his second child early Tuesday morning.

Although Kingery’s return may be a limited engagement, being back on the 40-man roster puts him more squarely back on the depth chart. The Phillies had a vacant spot on the roster after designating outfielder Roman Quinn for assignment last week.

“However long or short it is, I’m ready to go,” Kingery said. “It’s been a long year with the surgery and everything. It’s just good to be back here.”