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Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has fracture in right thumb

By ROB MAADDI

AP Sports Writer

J.T. Realmuto flashed a slight smile and shared encouraging words for fans reeling from news about Carson Wentz's trade and his thumb injury.

"Hang in there," Realmuto said. "I can't speak too much on the Carson situation but I'm not very worried about my thumb, so if I was a Phillies fan, I wouldn't be too worried."

The Philadelphia Phillies' two-time All-Star catcher found out Thursday that he has a small fracture in his right thumb and will be evaluated again in two weeks.

Realmuto was injured while blocking a pitch six days ago. He practiced on the first day of spring training Wednesday but an MRI later revealed the break.

Realmuto said he's confident he'll be ready for the season opener on April 1 but wants to make sure his thumb has healed.

"I feel pretty confident that after the two weeks it will be healed because it already feels quite a bit better than the day it happened," he said. "It's definitely going to heal on its own and I'm confident I'll be back by opening day."

Realmuto's hand will be immobilized, but it's possible he'll still catch pitchers during bullpen sessions.

"I can still do everything else baseball activity-wise, other than throw and also hitting," Realmuto said. "I'm not going to hit for a while. But I can stretch with the team. I can do conditioning with the team. I'll be there for the bullpens and be able to catch those and be able to work with the pitchers and still have those conversations and be able to catch the new guys that I haven't seen yet. I just won't be able to throw the ball back. I'll just flip it to somebody, and they'll throw it back for me."

Realmuto signed a $115.5 million, five-year contract last month.

The Phillies already added catcher Jeff Mathis to join Andrew Knapp and Rafael Marchan their catchers.

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Updated February 19, 2021

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