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Phillies' J.T. Realmuto says he could be back before MLB All-Star Break after meniscectomy surgery

Phillies' J.T. Realmuto talks return from meniscectomy surgery, Rafael Marchan and more
Phillies' J.T. Realmuto talks return from meniscectomy surgery, Rafael Marchan and more 06:36

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto underwent successful meniscectomy surgery on his right knee last week and said he expects to be back at the four-week mark of the surgery, which would be the week before the MLB All-Star Break. 

Realmuto didn't want to put an exact date on his return but said he's feeling good and getting better every day. 

"I'm not going to kill myself and push it to come back the five days before the break," Realmuto said on Tuesday. "But if I'm feeling good and the rehab is going well and my body feels right, then I will play that week before to get the games in. For me, I'd rather be able to play those games before the break. But if my body isn't feeling right, I'm not going to push it."

Realmuto said he had the same surgery in 2019 after the season and didn't have any issues when returning. He expects to be 100% when he returns later this season. 

The surgery was a clean-up and not a full removal, Realmuto said. He added there's a small piece that doctors cut out of the meniscus, which is why the recovery timeline isn't too long. 

The injury happened in early May against the San Francisco Giants as he rounded second base and slipped during a triple, Realmuto said.

Realmuto tried battling through the injury but missed time against the Miami Marlins following the Giants game. He initially was hoping to battle through and at least get to the All-Star break, but knew he needed surgery at some point this season as the pain persisted. 

Realmuto said the pain in his knee continued to get worse and affected his play, including forcing him to change his catching stance, and he didn't want to be feeling the same pain later in the season in September and October. 

"It was just affecting my play enough to where I felt like needed to get it done, so it didn't take any convincing from them, it was a mutual decision," Realmuto said. 

Realmuto wasn't able to help with the game-planning against the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles due to his surgery, but he said he plans to help out backups Garrett Stubbs and Rafael Marchan as much as possible while he's out. 

Realmuto's also taken notice to Marchan's play. Through three games with the Phillies, Marchan is slashing .417/.417.667 with one home run and three RBIs. 

On Monday night, Marchan had four hits and threw out Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim stealing second. 

"He did awesome," Realmuto said of Marchan. "The hits are one thing, the hits are great but just watching him work with [Cristopher Sanchez] and the way he got him through that game, he threw the ball great. They mixed the ball really well, he did a great job. [Sanchez] isn't an easy guy to catch, he had some really good blocks and key blocks in that game, kept base runners, threw the guy out, just an all-around really good game."

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