Phillies' Madson to undergo surgery

Phillies' Madson to undergo surgery

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Madson's big toe has become a big problem.

Madson, who broke his right big toe after he kicked a chair in frustration Wednesday in San Francisco, had a CT scan on Monday morning at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Foot and ankle specialist Steven Raikin decided that Madson needed surgery. He will insert a pin into the toe on Tuesday.

The Phillies said they will update Madson's timetable to return following surgery.

"We knew it was bad from the beginning," Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. "It is what it is. It's not just like it's a little crack. It's got a couple pieces to it. The question is whether you leave it the way it is, or whether you pin it to help the healing process. It's Dr. Raikin's impression that the best way to handle this is go in and try to pin it, make it a more stable fracture and certainly hopefully help the healing process."

Broken toes for pitchers seem to take at least a month to heal. It is unknown if the breaks are similar, but former Pirates left-hander Oliver Perez broke his left big toe on June 26, 2005, after kicking a metal laundry cart in the visitors' clubhouse in St. Louis. He did not pitch again for Pittsburgh until Sept. 9, a span of 66 games. Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster broke his right big toe during a celebration last July. He spent 26 days on the disabled list between starts.

Sheridan said the creative part of the healing process will be trying to keep Madson's arm moving and strong, so when the bone heals he is able to resume throwing off the mound.

"The best-case scenario is that it didn't happen at all," Sheridan said.

It certainly doesn't help the Phillies to lose Madson, no matter how long he is out. The Phillies bullpen has a 4.48 ERA, which ranks 10th in the National League. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he still wants to work Brad Lidge into a few non-save situations before he resumes closing duties, which means right-hander Jose Contreras is the most viable candidate to close in the short term.

Phillies general manager Scott Proefrock said the club needs to let its bullpen pitch more before deciding if it needs outside help or not.

"We've got some moving pieces," he said. "I don't think it necessarily puts us in a situation where we have to go acquire somebody."

Triple-A right-hander Scott Mathieson is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA and three saves and nine appearances. He is a candidate to join the bullpen at some point this season.

"He's still got to work on some of his secondary stuff," Proefrock said. "He's still got some work to do."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.