A sense of relief wafted through the Phillies' clubhouse yesterday after it was learned an MRI on Raul Ibanez showed his groin injury was no more severe than the team announced on Thursday.
A club spokesman said before last night's game against Baltimore the results of the MRI were consistent with the original diagnosis - a strained left groin.
Ibanez, who ranks third in the majors in home runs (22) and runs batted in (59) and is batting .312, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. The 37-year-old leftfielder is undergoing rehabilitation treatments.
"I'm feeling better," Ibanez said. "I expect to continue to progress."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Ibanez probably won't swing a bat for about a week. Manuel also recognizes that groin injuries are tricky, and it's difficult to know whether or not Ibanez will be ready to return after his 15 days on the DL are up. Manuel also indicated he will likely give Ibanez time off now and then once he returns in an attempt to prevent him from aggravating the injury.
"I think he'll be back, and I hope it's when his time is up on the DL," Manuel said. "I think he might need a break now and then, and I think we'll kind of have to monitor that, but I think he'll play."
Manuel said Brad Lidge seems to be on schedule to come off the DL Tuesday.
He said the closer's right knee felt fine the day after he threw 42 pitches in his second bullpen session Thursday, and that he may throw again today.
"He's got the natural soreness that he should have after throwing, but I don't think it's anything to be alarmed about," Manuel said.
Lidge will go to double-A Reading for a minor-league rehab assignment tonight.
Asked if he expected Lidge to join the team in Tampa early next week, Manuel said, "Right now, I think so. That's what we're hoping. I think so. We just have to see how it goes."
John Mayberry Jr., who was recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley when Ibanez went on the DL, was switched to left field from right field while Jayson Werth went back to right, his usual position. Mayberry frequently played left field during spring training. . . . The Phillies played in front of the 26th sellout crowd in 33 games at Citizens Bank Park.