- Jayson Stark, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies closer Ryan Madson wasn't available to pitch against the Oakland Athletics on Friday because of an undisclosed injury to his pitching hand -- and won't be ready to pitch again for "hopefully ... three or four days," manager Charlie Manuel said after his team's 1-0 walk-off win.
Manuel disclosed the injury only after his failure to bring in his closer in the ninth inning of what was, at the time, a scoreless game, raising questions about Madson's health.
Manuel was at first reluctant to admit Madson wasn't available, saying he used Michael Stutes instead of his closer because "that's who we had. That's all I want to say."
But after a series of follow-up questions, Manuel said Madson's problems developed after he got hit on the pitching hand by a ground ball in May. It was later determined Manuel was referring to an infield hit by the Texas Rangers' David Murphy on May 20 that deflected off Madson's hand. Madson has pitched 13 times since then, including the day after he was hit.
Manuel wasn't specific about the nature of Madson's issue but implied it was some sort of infection or growth that developed afterward.
"He has a feeling in his hand," Manuel said cryptically. "And today, hopefully, he got it taken care of. And hopefully, he should be available to pitch in three or four days.
If Manuel's prognosis is accurate, it would mean Madson would be available for the Phillies' series against the Boston Red Sox, which begins Tuesday.
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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