Joe Blanton is active for now, but may need elbow surgery

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Joe Blanton came off the disabled list last week after missing four months with an elbow injury and threw a scoreless inning Monday as a reliever, but it sounds like he has little chance of cracking the Phillies’ playoff roster and may still need offseason surgery.

“I don’t need to show up next year and all of a sudden I’m hurt again and we’re back where we were,” Blanton told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Tommy John surgery has been ruled out, but Gelb writes that Blanton may need “a nerve procedure that could require a six-month recovery.” He’s under contract for $8.5 million next season, so if he’s going under the knife it would need to be at some point in October to make a full recovery likely by spring training.

In the meantime he’ll continue to work out of the Phillies’ bullpen and hope his elbow holds up well enough to make surgery unnecessary.