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June 12, 2024

Phillies injury updates: J.T. Realmuto, club opt for knee surgery now rather than later

J.T. Realmuto is expected to miss a month from surgery to deal with lingering knee pain, while Brandon Marsh and Trea Turner are working their way back from hamstring strains.

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J.T. Realmuto is expected to miss around a month.

J.T. Realmuto and the Phillies knew they were going to have to do something about the catcher's knee soreness at some point, so last week – just before the London trip – they made the call to deal with it now rather than later. 

On Tuesday, the Phillies announced that Realmuto was going on the 10-day Injured List to undergo meniscus surgery in his right knee, and ahead of that night's game against the Red Sox up in Boston, team president Dave Dombrowski said that he expects Realmuto to be out for around a month. 

Dombrowski also said he, Realmuto, and head athletic trainer Paul Buchheit arrived at that conclusion last Wednesday before the London Series. Realmuto went on to catch both of those games over the weekend.

"It just shows you, I mean we said that and he still played two games, right?" Dombrowski said Tuesday night in Boston (via NBC Sports Philadelphia). "So when I talked to him myself, I said 'J.T., it looks like we'll have to get this done.' It was about Wednesday. He says 'Yeah, but Dave, we can do it when you want. You know, I'm all right to play.' I said 'No, I think it's time that we get this thing done from what everybody's telling me. Let's get it knocked out.' 

"It should be about a month that he'll be out. I'd rather it get done now, as he would, get it taken care of and then know that he's coming back, rather than it stir up later in the year and then have to do it at an inopportune time right down the stretch."

MORE: Can the Phillies survive without J.T. Realmuto for a month?

Realmuto, 33, has been dealing with knee pain going back to last month, but still started in 51 of the Phillies' 66 games so far, and since May 1, has slashed a line of .276/.327/.400 batting high up in the Phillies' order.

Garrett Stubbs will be the immediate option behind the plate in the meantime, with Rafael Marchán backing him up on recall.

Stubbs went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts during Tuesday night's 4-1 win over the Red Sox, but also gunned down a runner trying to steal second and caught seven innings of one-run ball from Zack Wheeler. 

"It's a big blow, that's for sure," Wheeler said postgame (via NBC Sports Philadelphia). "J.T. is I think the best in the game. He's caught me just about every start that I've pitched here, so, you know it's different throwing to somebody else, but Stubby did a great job tonight, called a great game and he's a big league catcher for a reason. Just trust him."

Marsh, Turner progress

Brandon Marsh missed the London trip to stay home and work his way back from a hamstring strain.

The outfielder hurt himself running the bases during the Cardinals series earlier this month, but is trending toward a rehab assignment with Double-A Reading sometime this week, per The Athletic's Matt Gelb

Also per Gelb: Shortstop Trea Turner is back to ramping up and could return for this weekend against the Orioles in Baltimore, if not the series after back at home against the Padres.

Turner has been out since May 4 with a hamstring strain of his own, but stayed with the club and was making good time in getting back to on-field work until a recent setback pumped the breaks on his progress. 

Turner was slashing .343/.392/.460 prior to his injury, however, and with Realmuto now out, the shortstop's imminent return could at least help ease the offensive burden.

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