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Hoskins expects quick return from broken jaw

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rhys Hoskins' jaw may be broken, but it might not keep him from the field long.

Hoskins said Friday at AT&T Park that the hairline fracture, which runs from his chin to the underside of his jaw near his teeth, might keep him on the disabled list the minimum 10 days. In other words, Hoskins, who broke his jaw Monday at Dodger Stadium, could be back in the Phillies' lineup as early as June 9 against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Rhys Hoskins' jaw may be broken, but it might not keep him from the field long.

Hoskins said Friday at AT&T Park that the hairline fracture, which runs from his chin to the underside of his jaw near his teeth, might keep him on the disabled list the minimum 10 days. In other words, Hoskins, who broke his jaw Monday at Dodger Stadium, could be back in the Phillies' lineup as early as June 9 against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park.

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"I have a follow-up appointment in about a week," Hoskins said. "I think if all goes well, hopefully it's just waiting out the DL time at that point. That's the hope. Obviously things can change. Everything has to go well with the follow-up appointment. At that time it's up to the doctor. You're talking to the player, not the staff. In my mind, I could play today."

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler shares Hoskins' optimism.

"I just don't see it being long before he's back," Kapler said. "I don't want to be overly optimistic here because I don't have a lot of exposure to jaw fractures, but my instincts tell me it's not going to be too long before Rhys is back in a Phillies uniform for us."

Dodgers physicians cleared Hoskins to play Tuesday. He hit a pinch-hit double later that night. A CT scan after the game revealed the fracture.

Hoskins said he had no issues with the original diagnosis.

Hoskins flew to Philadelphia from Los Angeles on Wednesday to be examined by a team specialist. Hoskins said medical personnel are not as concerned about risks at the plate -- the team is working on a face shield attached to his helmet to better protect him -- than other action on the field, like collisions playing in the outfield or running the bases.

"Things that you don't really plan for," Hoskins said.

Hoskins hit in the batting cage before the Phillies' series opener against the Giants, so he should be able to keep his timing. The swelling in his face noticeably dissipated since Monday.

Alfaro is built to play

Catcher Andrew Knapp started Friday after Jorge Alfaro started the entire four-game series against the Dodgers. Alfaro has started 37 of 55 games this season, which puts him on pace to start 109 games. But he also has started 24 of the past 31 games. If he maintains that pace, he could start 120 games.

Video: ATL@PHI: Alfaro quickly nabs Inciarte stealing second

Mike Lieberthal is the last Phillies catcher to start 120 or more games in a season. He started 123 games in 2004. It has happened with the Phillies just 19 times since 1913.

Could Alfaro handle a workload like that?

"That's a question we've been talking about quite a bit," Kapler said. "There are guys who play almost every day behind the plate. It's just very difficult to predict who those guys can be, who they will be and who earned the right to play every single day like that. We've just had this very small look so far, but Alfaro looks physical, durable, athletic and capable of playing fairly regularly."

Injury updates

• Shortstop J.P. Crawford (strained right forearm) is scheduled to play nine innings Saturday in a rehab game with Class A Clearwater. Eventually, he will be moved up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley before he rejoins the Phillies.

• Right-hander Pat Neshek (strained right forearm) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday.

• Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff is scheduled to see another specialist regarding the tingling sensation he feels in his fingers when he pitches. He visited a thoracic outlet syndrome specialist earlier this week in St. Louis. He will see another specialist in Dallas.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jorge Alfaro, Rhys Hoskins