Polanco rejoins Phils, eyes Friday return

Polanco rejoins Phils, eyes Friday return

ATLANTA -- This has been an insufferably long week for Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco.

He has had inflammation and a bruise in his left elbow since Tim Hudson hit him with a pitch on April 21 at Turner Field. He received a MRI on Sunday in Florida. He received a cortisone injection into the elbow Monday in Philadelphia. He rejoined the team Tuesday in Atlanta, but is not expected to play until Friday.

"Friday for sure," Polanco said. "I need to be playing."

The Phillies could use him. They had scored just 10 runs in nine games entering Tuesday's game against the Braves at Turner Field. They had not hit a home run in 63 consecutive innings, their longest home run drought since a 73-inning streak in 1999.

"I'm pretty sure everybody is thinking and feeling the pressure," Polanco said. "All these guys in here are professionals and proven winners. Everybody wants to step up and do it, but it doesn't happen like that. When you really put the extra pressure on you, it doesn't happen, because you want it so bad. You have to relax and let it happen. I'm pretty sure that's what's going on.

"Right now," Polanco said, pointing to his head with both index fingers, "it's right there."

He compared trying too hard at the plate to a child making mistakes and not understanding the error of his ways until he is older.

"I believe we're going to come out of it and some good things are going to happen," he said. "It's a long season. It's there. The track records are there. Relax. It's going to happen. The question is when? The sooner the better."