NEW YORK - Greg Dobbs might have earned a starting assignment as the designated hitter in Game 2 of the World Series, but an illness prevented him from even joining his teammates at the ballpark.

Dobbs has the flu, according to manager Charlie Manuel, who used Matt Stairs as the DH tonight.

Any mention of the flu this year conjures fears of the H1N1 influenza, commonly known as the "swine flu." The Phillies were not in a position to rule out that diagnosis, said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. - although they did not know enough to be overly concerned, either.

Amaro told The Inquirer that Dobbs had left the team and was undergoing tests to determine the exact nature of his illness.

"We sent him home because we didn't want him contaminating the other guys," Amaro said. "It got to the point where he was too sick to function."

The team did not know when Dobbs would be available again, but Manuel said he was not yet considering replacing him on the roster.

Working with SEPTA

The Phillies are working with SEPTA to develop contingency plans in the event that transit workers decide to strike this weekend, team spokesperson Bonnie Clark said yesterday. Clark declined to offer specifics about the plans.

World Series games are scheduled at Citizens Bank Park Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, and the Eagles play a home game Sunday afternoon. The Transport Workers Union has threatened to strike at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.

Workouts today

The Phillies planned to charter an Amtrak train from New York after tonight's game. They are scheduled to work out at Citizens Bank Park at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The Yankees will take the field at 3.

Lee again?

Manuel said he had not decided whether to start Cliff Lee on short rest in Game 4. If the manager saves Lee for Game 5, he could use Joe Blanton on Sunday.