Phillips' progress slow but steady

Phillips' progress slow but steady

CINCINNATI -- Brandon Phillips took ground balls last Thursday for the first time since having surgery on July 11 to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. Since then, the second baseman has progressed from using a flat glove -- so as not to squeeze the glove shut and risk aggravating the injury -- to a standard glove.

The next step for Phillips, who was expected to be out six weeks from the date of surgery, will be to swing a bat. He said on Monday that he would try to hold a bat in a week, but manager Bryan Price wouldn't put a timetable on that.

"I couldn't give you even a proximity on when that's going to be," Price said on Wednesday. "But I don't think we're that far away. [Phillips] is going to see his hand doctor here maybe tomorrow, I believe, and I think that will probably go a long way to maybe setting a date or having a better idea on when he might start swinging the bat."

Price did say, however, that Phillips would need to go on a rehab assignment before being activated from the disabled list.

"It's just that it's a surgery and it's a five- to six-week recovery period," Price said. "And that's a lot of time away from the game and seeing live pitching."

Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.