Third baseman Placido Polanco was back in the lineup Wednesday night after leaving Tuesday's game against the Dodgers when he aggravated the elbow injury that has bothered him since being hit by a pitch against Atlanta in late April.

"I have to deal with it for a while," he said. "You learn how to play with it."

Polanco admitted he's concerned about the injury and now seems convinced that he'll be headed for surgery to have a bone spur removed as soon as the season is over.

"I don't know how bad it is," he said. "I'm not a doctor, but it sure looks like they're going to need to operate after the season. I did all the rehab and all that and it's still there. I'm not going to have that (bone spur) next year. One of the doctors told me it was going to bother me until they take that piece of bone out."

Until then, Polanco is in a race to see if he can make it through the season. He missed six games from May 28 through June 2 because of the injury and 18 more when he went on the disabled list with the injury from June 26 through July 16. Each time he was out, Polanco received a cortisone injection.

He said he will not have any more cortisone injections.

"I've had enough of them," he said.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Polanco aggravates the elbow injury whenever he dives for a ball to his left.

"When you have a bone spur, it pinches the nerve every day," Polanco said.

Despite playing in pain, Polanco continues to play well. Since coming off the disabled list July 17 in Chicago, he has batted .324 and scored 17 runs in 23 games.