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10/25/09 6:20 PM EST

Ibanez downplays small muscle tear

Phillies left fielder insists he's 'fine,' will continue to play

PHILADELPHIA -- Raul Ibanez has some Chase Utley in him.

Utley, who said Sunday afternoon that his right foot and right hip are healthy, refused to discuss his hip injury last season -- until after he had surgery in November. Ibanez, who spent time on the disabled list this season with a strained left groin, declined Sunday to talk about a small muscle tear near his abdomen that has bothered him most of the season.

Sports Illustrated first reported the tear. On the team's trip to Toronto in June, Ibanez had to decide between surgery and missing a large chunk of the season or spending a short time on the DL and playing the season hurt, SI reported. Ibanez chose the latter, but asked about it Sunday, he sounded much like Utley last season.

"I'm fine. I'm doing fine," Ibanez said. "That's all stuff that's in the past. I had spoken to the guy, but that's stuff that's kind of in the past. I don't really even think about it. Look, I'm fine right now."

So no surgery after the season?

"I don't know," he said. "We'll see what happens. I'm not thinking past today right now, and I'm not thinking back the other way, either. But I'm doing fine. I've been fine for a while."

SI wrote that Ibanez consulted with a neuromuscular specialist in Toronto and a surgeon in Philadelphia before he chose to skip surgery and try aggressive rehabilitation.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to comment about Ibanez's muscle tear.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.