PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' rebuild might have sustained a setback in August when they placed Aaron Nola on the disabled list with a season-ending right elbow injury. The team hopes Nola will be ready by Spring Training, but nobody knows for certain.
"I think that remains to be seen, right?" Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said, when asked how much of a setback Nola's injury has been. "We don't know the full extent of what's going on with Nola. If he comes back and is healthy and ready and able for Opening Day next year, that probably had minimal impact. It impacted our team for the final couple months of this year, but in the long run, it may not."
Nola's return is obviously important because he might be the best of the team's young pitching core that includes Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, Alec Asher and others.
"He's doing fine, he's on track," Klentak said of Nola. "I think we estimated four-to-six weeks before he would start throwing again. I think we're roughly at the four-week mark right now. Hopefully sometime in the next week or two."
Nola, who received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection last month to battle inflammation in his elbow, is scheduled to throw in the instructional league in Clearwater, Fla.
"The idea is before he goes into his offseason, he's been up on the mound, he's thrown to hitters and everything feels good and he goes into his offseason feeling very confident," Klentak said. "We're hopeful we'll be able to time that with instructional league, but if it stretches beyond that, we'll have to figure it out."
Eflin, who was placed on the 60-day DL following last month's right knee surgery, has had knee issues since he was a child. He will also have left knee surgery in the coming weeks.
"Zach is doing great," Klentak said. "And we don't have an exact date for it, but probably first week of October, somewhere in that neighborhood, I guess."