Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen won't be ready for Opening Day as he recovers from last year's knee injury, manager Joe Girardi announced Friday, according to Matt Gelb of The Athletic.
McCutchen's stint on the injured list isn't expected to last long, though. Girardi said the former National League MVP didn't suffer a setback and the team anticipates he'll be ready to return sometime in April.
"The tests continue to improve," Girardi told reporters, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. "He has made improvements as we've gone along. He continues to get better.
"But as we start to put it together, there's some things, some hurdles that he still has to clear, like cutting. We've seen him out there taking fly balls, we've seen him taking batting practice. But we haven't seen him run full speed."
Philadelphia opens its 2020 campaign March 26 against the Miami Marlins as part of the earliest Opening Day in MLB history. Girardi said McCutchen likely would be ready if the season didn't start so soon.
McCutchen, who joined the Phillies in free agency last winter, tore his ACL in June while caught in a rundown. The injury and resulting surgery ended what was a resurgent season for the former Pittsburgh Pirates star, who cemented himself as Philadelphia's leadoff hitter by posting a .256/.378/.457 slash line.
His continuing rehab potentially opens the door for a bevy of outfielders who are looking to win a roster spot this spring. Veteran non-roster invitees who are in Phillies camp include Nick Martini and Mikie Mahtook, as well as utility men Neil Walker and Josh Harrison.
Jay Bruce could also be in the mix, though the veteran slugger is experiencing some elbow issues that could prevent him from playing the outfield, according to Salisbury.