Bulging disc keeps Polanco sidelined

Bulging disc keeps Polanco sidelined

PHILADELPHIA - The news Placido Polanco received about his ailing back was not what he nor Phillies fans wanted to hear.

However, it shouldn't keep the All-Star third baseman out long.

A visit with a back specialist Thursday in Philadelphia revealed a bulging disc in Polanco's back, which will keep him out of action for a fourth consecutive day in Friday's scheduled series opener against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

Polanco does not think he'll need to go on the disabled list, and his return to the lineup is considered day-to-day.

"I would like to play tomorrow or [Sunday], and then I can take my at-bat or two in the All-Star Game," said Polanco, who doesn't think his situation is as bad as Roy Oswalt's. Oswalt is likely out until August with bulging discs.

Polanco started taking a week-long regimen of anti-inflammatory oral medication Thursday. If that does not alleviate the pain, an injection will be needed.

Polanco last played Monday at Florida. He said his back has bothered him for the last month, but he's batting just .216 overall since April.

"You start compensating," he said. "Not even baseball, just walking."

Being selected by the fans as the National League's starting third baseman in Tuesday's All-Star Game is an achievement Polanco wants to honor, but he will have to decide in the next couple days whether he can play in Phoenix.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he wouldn't ask Polanco to sit out the All-Star Game.

"If he's hurt, then I would not want him to play," Manuel said. "But at the same time, I would never ever tell him not to play."