Family funeral to extend injured Rollins' absence from lineup

Updated: April 18, 2008, 2:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who's been reduced to three at-bats in the Phillies' last seven games, apparently won't return to the starting lineup until Saturday at the earliest.

Last year's National League MVP has been nursing a sprained left ankle. But Thursday and Friday, he won't be with the team at all; he will be attending his uncle's funeral in California.

Rollins injured his ankle in an April 8 game against the Mets and it still feels sore. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer after Wednesday's loss to the Houston Astros that he has difficulty moving to his left.

"I can't do it comfortably," he said, according to the newspaper. "In a game, if you exaggerate that 20-fold and you're going full-speed on a double play, for example, when that little pain kicks in and buckles you, you're not thinking about getting out of the way. Now you get kicked in the ankle. It's not safe."

Rollins underwent a precautionary MRI exam before flying to the West Coast. The ankle reportedly is healing as expected.

Rollins made a pinch-hit appearance in Tuesday's victory over the Astros and said he felt pain while in the batter's box.

"Literally, until I swung, I was fine," he said, according to the Inquirer. "After I swung, I stumbled. I don't know if it just gave out a little bit or it's because I fouled it off and my balance was off. But I kind of rolled it a little bit.

"Three minutes later, it was fine, but that's because I was able to get off it."

Rollins also pinch hit in the ninth Wednesday night. He singled, then manager Charlie Manuel took him out of the game.

Rollins told the Inquirer he has a hyperbaric chamber and has been using it to help speed his recovery.

"A lot of football players have them, but I guess it's still kind of new to baseball," Rollins told the paper. "I like being on the edge of things."