Phillies Injury Update

Taijuan Walker to begin rehab assignment Thursday

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ST. LOUIS — Taijuan Walker will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple A Lehigh Valley, starting a 30-day clock for him to return to the major leagues.

Walker has dealt with a right shoulder impingement after missing ample time in spring training. The Phillies want to build him back up with essentially a full complement of spring starts.

He is set to throw 60 to 65 pitches over three innings on Thursday but could get a fourth inning if he's efficient, manager Rob Thomson said Monday before the Phillies' series opener against the Cardinals.

This is the next step after Walker threw live batting practice over the weekend at Nationals Park. The Phillies will be closely monitoring his velocity, which was down in camp.

"He was 90 (mph), averaged basically 90 the other day on a chillier day in a simulated game type of situation, not a whole lot of adrenaline," Thomson said. "So I'm hoping that it goes up as we build."

In the meantime, Spencer Turnbull will occupy the final spot in the Phillies' rotation. Turnbull was on the mound for his second start of the season Monday night in St. Louis, paired up again with catcher Garrett Stubbs. It seems like the Phillies will keep Stubbs with Turnbull the way they kept him with Cristopher Sanchez last season. Thomson likes the familiarity of having J.T. Realmuto with Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Ranger Suarez but Realmuto can't catch every day. He started eight of the Phillies' first nine games.

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