Contreras out 3 to 4 weeks, other updates

Phillies reliever Jose Contreras is expected to miss up to a month with an elbow strain. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

The news was surprisingly good on the injury front for Jose Contreras, who underwent an MRI on his ailing elbow yesterday. Contreras was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of the flexor pronator tendon. The Phillies are hoping that he can be back pitching competitively within three to four weeks.

The news was much better than anybody anticiapted.

"It's better than the alternative," Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

Brad Lidge will see team doctor Michael Ciccotti this weekend, after which he hopes to begin a throwing program.

The Phillies are still hopeful J.C. Romero will be back by the end of his stay on the 15-day DL.

Two minor league notes:

An unfortunate one for Harold Garcia, a nice little hitter who was in his first year on the 40-man roster. He'll miss the next year after tearing his ACL a few days ago while running the bases for Double-A Reading. The Phillies were hoping he could blossom into a utility player for them. And they still are. But the injury is a significant blow for his development.

A positive one for Dominic Brown, who hit a couple home runs in an extended spring training game and will play his first official rehab outing tomorrow for Class A Clearwater.

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