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Phillies Notebook: Phillies reliever Park won't start rehab for 2 to 3 weeks

IT HAD BEEN a long day of treatment, rehabilitation and examination. And Chan Ho Park still had a team doctor to talk to.

IT HAD BEEN a long day of treatment, rehabilitation and examination. And Chan Ho Park still had a team doctor to talk to.

As he limped to his locker around 6 p.m. yesterday, his right leg nearly immobilized by a tight elastic wrap, Park appeared as dazed as he was when his right hamstring popped the night before while pitching against the visiting Nationals.

"I just got an MRI," Park said. "I'm waiting now to talk to the doctor. I don't know what comes next."

What comes next for Park is . . . nothing. He will be out 2 to 3 weeks, assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. He will remain with the club as it travels the next few days then, as he heals, he will report to Clearwater, Fla., to begin a rehab program that the Phillies hope will make him available to return in time for the playoffs.

Proefrock said that Brett Myers' arm is not fit enough to fill Park's challenging role, though Myers, coming off hip surgery, could inherit Park's job if Myers rebounds from the lingering arm soreness. Former starter Jamie Moyer, who has been very good in special, long-relief appearances, is not being considered for the job, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, because Moyer requires too long to warm up and does not rebound quickly enough.

It is a terrifically strenuous job, done extremely well by Park.

Park had a 2.52 earned run average in 38 relief appearances this season. He allowed eight of 25 inherited runners to score.

Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee said they will look to Tyler Walker to pitch the tough middle innings Park pitched so effectively since May, when he lost his starter's job. Chad Durbin also will get a shot in the next few weeks, Manuel said.

"Right now, the two guys that enter my mind are Walker and Durbin," Manuel said.

Dubee said Durbin needs to throw more strikes earlier in counts, to pitch with abandon, to be less fine.

Manuel agreed Durbin needs work.

Aggressive pitching is how Walker has risen through the battered bullpen ranks.

"He's pitched well. He's a strike thrower. You get guys out, you get the ball," Dubee said. "It's a fact of life."

Twenty of Walker's 24 appearances were scoreless. The opposition was hitting .196 against him, .096, since July 29. Walker, 33, is in his seventh major league season.

He began the year with Triple A Lehigh Valley. Considering how setup man Ryan Madson and closer Brad Lidge have struggled in later innings, Walker could shortly find himself asked to do more than even Park did.

"He was kind of a fill-in guy. All of a sudden, he's worked himself in to where he can pitch in the sixth, seventh inning," Manuel said. "Maybe even better than that, if we have to use him."

Some endorsement, huh?

"It feels nice. It's a matter of going after people," Walker said. "Especially here. You can't walk people here. It's dangerous."


Raul Ibanez, a lefty hitter who has hammered lefty pitching all season and has been hot against all pitching the last 2 weeks, did not start last night against Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler. Charlie Manuel said he wanted to rest Ibanez, who could start all three games in leftfield in Atlanta this weekend, and he wanted to get bench outfielder Ben Francisco some at-bats. He went 1-for-4 . . . Shortstop Jimmy Rollins stole his 29th base of the season - third base, with two out in the fifth inning of a 1-0 game. He is one steal shy of hitting the 30-steal mark for the eighth time in his nine full seasons . . . Manuel opined that emerging star rightfielder Jayson Werth, hitting .272 with 34 homers, could manage a .300 season with 40 homers . . . Centerfielder Shane Victorino left the game in the seventh inning with gastrointestinal complications. After the game, Victorino, sipping a PediaLyte to replenish his fluids, said he would not fly with the team last night; he had flulike sympotms. He instead will fly today and join them in Atlanta for tonight's game and expects to play. *