Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/27/12
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The Phillies have soldiered on for the first two months of the season without either of their middle-of-the-order bats, first baseman Ryan Howard (left Achilles) and second baseman Chase Utley (left knee). It was a scenario that manager Charlie Manuel didn't even want to think about in March, but it's been the team's reality in April and May.

Manuel similarly would not want to think about life without the ace of his collection of aces atop his pitching staff. But that, too, could become a reality.

Roy Halladay left his start on Sunday in St. Louis after two innings for what was described by the team as a precaution due to shoulder soreness. Halladay will be examined early this week, likely on Tuesday.

"Worried? Yeah, definitely I'm concerned," Manuel said. "Yeah, I'm worried. Seemed like our guys, our pitching is one of the big things on our club, and when guys miss a turn, yeah, that concerns me."

Halladay didn't sound as concerned. But he also had no idea if he'd be able to bounce back and make his next start -- on Saturday at home against the Marlins -- or whether it was a longer-termed injury.

"I don't know," Halladay said. "I'll kind of go off the doctors. If they feel like they need to get in there and look at it -- if they inject (dye) in to look at you it may be longer. If they think it's just general soreness it might be just a couple days."

Halladay said he first felt the pain midway through his last start, on May 22 at Citizens Bank Park against the Washington Nationals. Halladay gave up five runs on nine hits in six innings that night.

From the beginning of the month, when he allowed eight runs on 12 hits in blowing a 6-0 lead in Atlanta on May 2, to Sunday, when he served up a first-inning grand slam to Yadier Molina, Halladay hasn't looked like a two-time Cy Young Award winner.

The 35-year-old has a 3.98 ERA in 11 starts.

"He hasn't looked right, and he didn't look right today," pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

Halladay hasn't had a right shoulder problem since spending two different stints on the disabled list in 2004, while with the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I felt it every single start (then) from beginning of the season on; that's not the case right now," Halladay said. "Basically, I really felt it affected me today and a couple innings in the last one. I'm hoping it's something we can calm down quickly and get back out there."

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