James Andrews

David Robertson will be shut down a little while longer after second opinion from Dr. James Andrews

David Robertson will be shut down a little while longer after second opinion from Dr. James Andrews

A "visit with Dr. James Andrews" often means bad injury news in the sports world, but the Phillies are characterizing reliever David Robertson's appointment with him Monday as a positive one.

Robertson, out since April 15 with a strain in his right elbow/forearm, got a second opinion from the renowned sports orthopedist and the goal is for the injury to heal naturally. Robertson will be shut down from throwing for three weeks.

"David feels more comfortable after this most recent diagnosis and feels more confident," manager Gabe Kapler said before Monday's Phillies-Brewers game. "It was a good news visit from our perspective."

With this recommended method of treatment, it looks like Robertson will not be able to return until late June or early July at the earliest. After the three-week shutdown period, he will have to begin a throwing program and ramp back up before beginning a minor-league rehab assignment. That will take a few weeks in itself.

The Phillies did not offer a concrete timetable but July is just six weeks away at this point.

Robertson is the highest-priced reliever in the Phillies' bullpen. He was signed this past offseason to a two-year, $23 million contract with a third-year club option. 

He arrived in Philadelphia having made at least 61 appearances every season since 2010. This is the longest period of time he's missed. Robertson's only two prior career stints on the disabled list lasted no longer than a month.

Entering the season, Robertson was perceived as the Phillies' most important reliever because of his successful track record and ability to both close and set up. The Phillies' bullpen has held up for the most part without him. They enter Monday night with the eighth-lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 3.89. The rest of the NL East has a 5.13 bullpen ERA. 

Ramos to the IL

Reliever Edubray Ramos was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday with stiffness in his right shoulder. He was examined Monday and there are no long-term concerns. Ramos will not throw for a few days.

"This feels like a very short stint on the injured list but we felt like it was the right decision and conservative one," Kapler said.

The Phillies replaced Ramos on the active roster with left-hander Austin Davis, who is available to pitch tonight.

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Aaron Nola is making progress in 2 recovery efforts

Aaron Nola is making progress in 2 recovery efforts

WASHINGTON — An elbow injury pushed Aaron Nola to the background nearly six weeks ago, but he remains very much on the minds of Phillies officials.
 
Fingers are crossed that Nola will respond positively to rest, rehab and a platelet-rich-plasma injection and be ready to go by spring training. The alternative – surgery that would keep him out of action next season – is not good.
 
Monday will mark one month since the pitcher received the PRP injection from orthopedist James Andrews. The 23-year-old right-hander has been traveling with the ballclub as he rehabs from the injury that he suffered while pitching in Atlanta on July 28.
 
Nola reported progress on Friday.
 
“It’s feeling good,” he said, sitting in front of his locker in the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. “It’s gotten better every day. There’s still a little soreness from the shot, but no pain. I’m doing my upper-body workouts. My range of motion is back. I feel like the inflammation is out. It feels good. When it happened, I felt pain. I don’t feel that now. It feels normal.”
 
Of course, the ultimate test of Nola’s condition won’t come until he starts throwing again. At the time of the PRP injection, he was told not to throw for four to six weeks. Nola said he will meet with team medical officials for an evaluation on Monday. He could then have a better idea of when he might start throwing.
 
Nola was diagnosed with a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and a strain of the flexor tendon. Serious injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament require Tommy John surgery and a year of rehab.
 
Phillies officials hope Nola can work his way up to facing some hitters in Florida in the month of October. That will give everybody a better idea on whether the injury has healed or whether it needs further attention.
 
Nola, the Phillies’ first-round draft pick out of Louisiana State in 2014, is confident that he’s on the right track.
 
“If everything keeps going like this, I’ll be ready for spring training,” he said.
 
In addition to rehabbing his elbow, Nola has joined with eight other former LSU baseball players – all major leaguers – to help raise money to assist flood victims back home near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The area was battered by flooding last month. Nola said a cousin of his “lost everything.”
 
“A bunch of the LSU guys reached out to each other because we wanted to help,” Nola said of the effort.
 
The group of players includes Anthony Renaudo (White Sox), Luis Coleman (Dodgers), Will Harris (Astros), Alex Bregman (Astros), Ryan Schimpf (Padres), D.J. LeMahieu (Rockies), Kevin Gausman (Orioles) and Mikie Mahtook (Rays).
 
The effort, called “Pitch in with former Tigers” has set $250,000 as its goal.
 
Nola reached into his locker, pulled out his phone and went to the Website.
 
“We’re over $18,000,” he said with a smile.