The Phillies' infielders were mandated to practice at 3:55 p.m. Wednesday, the first day back from a long road trip. Yet another starter was missing when the group reached the Citizens Bank Park grass.

Michael Young left the team because of a death in his family. He will miss at least three days. More pressing was the revelation that Chase Utley's strained right oblique is "slow" to heal. The team's original and optimistic time frame of 15 days without Utley is unrealistic.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Utley had not suffered a setback in his recovery. The second baseman conducted work with an athletic trainer before Tuesday's game at Fenway Park. He was nowhere to be found Wednesday.

"It's just tricky, so we have to be real careful and cautious," Amaro said. "I still think he feels tenderness in there, so we've got to be careful to not let it get to the point where it becomes more of an injury."

Utley said that himself, even when the 15-day timetable was established by the team. He has never suffered an injury like this to his midsection. He solicited the advice of players who did and their message was: "Don't rush it."

Manager Charlie Manuel said his understanding was that the injury to Utley's right side could take up to a month to fully recover. Amaro said there was no new timetable for Utley's return.

With the news about Young, the Phillies were rendered shorthanded in the infield. Freddy Galvis shifted to third base, with Kevin Frandsen at second. Prospect Cesar Hernandez was recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley and arrived from Rochester, N.Y., around the first pitch.

Hernandez, 23, was hitting .308 with an .815 OPS at triple A. He had six triples, two home runs and 15 stolen bases in 48 games. The Phillies consider him a future major-league player and due diligence is required; Hernandez will be out of options in 2014.

His stay in the majors could be brief. Young must miss a minimum of three games while on the bereavement list. He can be absent for a maximum of seven games.

"He can hit the ball into the gaps from time to time," Amaro said of Hernandez. "He's a pretty good base runner. He can steal bases. He's a guy that, frankly, I like quite a bit. It's taken a little bit of time for some of his talents to come out."

"I'll play him some," Manuel said, "just to get a look at him."

Utley suffered his oblique injury May 21 in Miami. The more time he misses, the more games he will need in the minors to regain his timing.

"I don't know if it's being extra careful," Manuel said. "I think that the condition will tell us what we can do."