Chase Utley took the field on Opening Day last month for the first time since 2010.
He was chugging along nicely in the season's first seven weeks, having started 42 of the first 45 games in the Phillies schedule. But then he took a batting practice swing on Wednesday afternoon that left him with a shooting pain in his right side.
"It definitely scared me," Utley said.
So he took three more swings. The pain never went away.
So Utley walked out of the batting cage and did a very un-Utley thing: he took himself out of the starting lineup.
A day later, Utley said he "didn't feel great, but didn't feel terrible." He won't play on Wednesday night and Miami and he will go to Philly while the rest of the team goes to Washington.
Utley is scheduled to have an MRI on his rib cage area in Philadelphia on Thursday.
When talking with teammates and others that have had the injury, Utley heard the same advice: don't rush back.
"You want to be careful with these things," Utley said of the oblique or rib cage ailment.
More from Utley:
Q: Is this something you think will require a DL stint?
Utley: I don't know. I don't have anything to compare it to. I've never had anything like this before. Tomorrow, I'll have an MRI to see the severity. I'll talk to Ciccotti and see what he has to say. Until we have the information, it's hard to really predict how we'll move forward.
Q: But it was bad enough to take yourself out of lineup?
Utley: It definitely scared me a little bit. My first swing I took in BP, I felt something. My second swing, I felt it again. My third swing, I felt it again. After the fourth swing, I realized something wasn't right. That's when I told Charlie I have some pain in my side. He told me to go see Scott. He took me out of the game. I think it was a smart thing to do. You want to be careful with these things because they could linger and get worse if you try to play through it. I think we caught it early enough but it's hard to know until we have some imaging on it.
Q: How do you feel now?
Utley: I feel OK. I feel about the same I did yesterday. I don't feel great but I don't feel terrible. It's kind of in between.
Q: It's a common injury with baseball players. Do you talk to other guys?
Utley: I've talked to a few guys on this team who have had it. Some guys I played with in the past had it. The main thing they said was, 'Don't rush back.' That's when you can make it worse and prolong the time you're out.
Q: So you took four swings with the pain?
Utley: That was it. And I took swings prior to the game in the cage with no problems. I don't know.
Q: Things were going well for you, able to play almost every game, and now this?
Utley: I just hit into a little bad luck.
Q: Worrisome? You said you had felt great recently.
Utley: I have felt pretty good. Hopefully this is just a small bump in the road.