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Franco's season might not be over after all

Phillies get good reports about wrist injury, keeping hope alive that slugger could return in '15

MIAMI -- While Maikel Franco's wrist injury recently went from bad to worse -- sending him to the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday and seemingly ending his rookie season -- Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said prior to Friday's contest in Miami that there's a chance the third baseman will be back this season after all.

"The prognosis for Franco is a little bit better than what they've previously noted," he said. "So he perhaps might be able to come back a little sooner. He might be back before the season is over."

Franco's injury is a non-displaced left wrist fracture, which he suffered on Aug. 11 in Arizona when he was hit by a Jeremy Hellickson pitch.

X-rays taken that night came back negative, but after little improvement the following days, Franco had an MRI exam this past week that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. described Tuesday as "a very small, non-displaced fracture of his ulnar styloid." Amaro added that the Phillies were going to be cautious with the promising 22-year-old, who is hitting .277 with 13 homers this season.

However, while Franco will be in a splint for the next couple of weeks, and the last-place Phillies may simply play it safe with only a little more than a month remaining in the season, Mackanin said the most recent reports about the injury are positive.

"That's still up in the air [if he would return], but he very well might be able to come back," Mackanin said. "I was told there's a chance he can come back and play some this year. ... It would be nice to get Franco's bat back in the lineup if possible."

Franco has an .830 OPS with 22 doubles and 48 RBIs in 77 games with Philadelphia since his promotion from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on May 15. When he was placed on the DL on Tuesday (retroactive to Aug. 12), the Phillies recalled outfielder Aaron Altherr, who entered Friday 3-for-9 with a homer in three games.

Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for
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