The news on Zack Wheeler's injured middle finger is not good.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi, who revealed the injury Thursday night, offered more details Friday afternoon.
The bottom line is it doesn't sound as if Wheeler will be able to start on Monday, and there's a possibility he could be out for a longer period of time than initially thought. That's not good because time is of the essence as the Phillies have just 20 games left, including Friday's doubleheader. Wheeler has been outstanding this season. Losing him for any length of time would be a serious blow.
Girardi said Wheeler has had problems with the nail on his right middle finger before. He caught the nail on his jeans Wednesday and tore the nail. Girardi said there was a chance Wheeler could lose the nail. Such a development would slow his recovery and cost the pitcher significant time. The Phillies, according to Girardi, have consulted a hand specialist.
Girardi said there was a significant amount of bleeding when Wheeler sustained the injury. There is also significant swelling.
Girardi said it was not clear when Wheeler would even be able to throw on the side. The manager added that he was praying for a quick recovery. Prayers for what was initially thought to be a hangnail? This sounds serious and potentially season altering.
Wheeler is scheduled to speak with the media later this afternoon.