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Injury Updates: Dugan, Hernandez, De Fratus

A few quick injury notes here from around the Phillies' system....

-Kelly Dugan (pictured), who nastily twisted his ankle last month, has returned to action after missing nearly three weeks of playing time.  On April 20th, the Phillies' top draft pick from 2009 sprained his ankle when he stepped on first base awkwardly, taking a throw on a ground out.

According to Lakewood manager Mickey Morandini, Dugan played in extended spring training games on Thursday and Friday and is feeling much improved, running and hitting with no difficulties.

For an image of Dugan's awfully bruised and swollen ankle, from the time of the injury, click here.

In 15 games with Lakewood this season, the 21-year-old Dugan posted a .245 batting average with 2 doubles, 2 homeruns and 9 RBI.

-Lefty pitcher Nick Hernandez is still roughly a month away from facing hitters.  The Phils' 12th round draft pick from 2009 has been out of action for nearly two years.  The 6-foot-5-inch 215-pounder underwent surgery on the labrum in his throwing shoulder last season after rehabbing the injury since the previous May with failed results.

According to the 23-year-old Hernandez, who spoke exclusively with PhoulBallz.com's Jay Floyd earlier this week, "I've thrown three bullpen sessions already and the ball is feeling good in my hand."

Hernandez, who was a South Atlantic League All-Star with Class A Lakewood in 2010 when he posted a 3-1 record with a 1.61 ERA through 8 starts prior to the injury, is currently on what he describes as a "recovery week", to build strength, while he exercises with weights.  He'll get back to throwing bullpen sessions twice a week on Monday.

-Phillies right-handed reliever Justin De Fratus is still shut down, after dealing with a setback while he rehabbed his elbow.   The 24-year-old is dealing with a strained flexor tendon and was placed on the 60-day disabled list on Friday, to make room for other Phillies roster moves.

After missing the start of the season with the ailment, De Fratus appeared in an extended spring training game and followed that up with a scoreless inning of work for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers on April 22nd.  However, the 6-foot-5-inch 220-pounder experienced considerable discomfort following that outing and was forced to discontinue throwing.

According to De Fratus, he has continued to do rehabilitation exercises and he expects to begin another throwing program in roughly two weeks. There is no current time frame on when he may face hitters again.

De Fratus made his big league debut with the Phillies last September, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.25 ERA in 5 appearances.
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