Phils hope Rollins recovers in 2-4 weeks

PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins thought a ball hit his calf when he felt a sharp pain as he started running a sprint.

When Rollins turned around and didn't see a ball trickling away, he knew he might be in trouble. He still ran the sprint to test his leg and realized he better sit out the Philadelphia Phillies' home opener.

The three-time All-Star shortstop won't be returning to the lineup anytime soon after being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

"It's unfortunate," Rollins said before Wednesday night's game against Washington. "From Monday to today, it's much better. I thought it was torn."

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said an MRI revealed a mild to moderate strain. Rollins is expected to miss two to four weeks. Amaro said the injury isn't as severe as the one center fielder Shane Victorino sustained in 2007. Victorino missed significant time with a strained calf in '07 and early in '08.

"It requires some rest," manager Charlie Manuel said. "The longer we play, the more we'll miss him, his whole game. He's a top-notch player."

Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, was injured during warmups before Monday's game against the Nationals. The 31-year-old leadoff hitter was off to a hot start, hitting .391 and scoring eight runs in seven games. Rollins was also showing more patience at the plate, drawing seven walks.

Juan Castro will replace Rollins at shortstop and Victorino will take his spot atop the batting order. The Phillies called up Wilson Valdez from triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill the roster spot. Rollins' stint on the disabled list is retroactive to April 13.

The 37-year-old Castro is a career .230 hitter in 16 seasons. Manuel expects to give him a majority of the playing time.

"Jimmy is a tremendous player, but that's part of the season, part of what you go through," Manuel said. "It's tough when you lose a guy like Jimmy, but it gives somebody else a chance to play. In order to win, to be good, you have to find someone to hold down the fort."

Rollins has been on the disabled list only once before during his 11 seasons. An ankle injury cost him nearly a month in '08.