Jerad Eickhoff's rehab program has been put on hold after he felt a sensation in his fingertips on Sunday during the end of his start with triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Eickhoff said the sensation he felt Sunday in his right index and middle fingers is similar to the feeling he had last September when the Phillies shut him down with nerve irritation. The Phillies starter is working his way back from a back muscle injury he suffered near the end of spring training.
"I'm trying to be optimistic," Eickhoff said. "Last year it was much more severe in my opinion. I was playing things a little smarter this year than last year. I've learned from my mistakes I guess you could say so I'd rather be more cautious and that's what I'm doing right now."
Sunday was Eickhoff's second rehab start and he was likely one more rehab start away from returning to the starting rotation. He felt the twinge in his fingers when he threw a curveball in Sunday's third inning. He felt it again on the next pitch and told the pitching coach and trainer when he returned to the dugout. He met Monday with a team doctor at Citizens Bank Park and will meet with a specialist for more testing. Eickhoff is under the impression that it is a nerve issue and not circulation related.
"That's what it seems like," Eickhoff said. "But I'm going to wait until I get some more tests done and find out for sure before I start worrying about it or get too down about it."
The Phillies had a decision looming, as they had to decide which pitcher would be removed from the roster to make room for Eickhoff. It was going to be a difficult choice, as the team's starting pitchers entered Monday with a 2.19 ERA this month.
Those discussions are now moot.