Qualls unavailable with heel injury

Phillies pitcher Chad Qualls is sidelined by a nebulous right heel injury. (Kathy Willens/AP Photo)

PITTSBURGH — The Phillies signed Chad Qualls this winter because they valued his durability; no pitcher has appeared in more games since 2005 than the 33-year-old righthander.

But three games into the season, Qualls is sidelined by a nebulous right heel injury he could barely describe.

Qualls said it felt like a "knife was going at the back of my heel" when he was walking around in his spikes Saturday afternoon. He told the team's training staff of the injury, but still pitched a scoreless inning Saturday night.

He does not know when the injury was suffered or what it is. He plans to see a doctor Monday once the team returns to Philadelphia.

"I really couldn't move too well," Qualls said. "It was really bugging me when I walked, so they were just trying to stay away from me. Hopefully it's nothing too big. If I had to, I could have gone out there and thrown. It's early in season, I think they just want to be cautionary."

Qualls pointed to the back of his heel, where there wasn't much swelling, but the bone was causing pain.

"But I never really banged it, so it's weird," Qualls said. "They're just being cautious right now."

Without Qualls, the Phillies were forced to use Mike Stutes, Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo each on back-to-back days in the 5-4 loss to the Pirates.

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