Altherr is not the first player to have surgery to repair what is known medically as the extensor carpi ulnaris retinaculum. But many notable players who have had the surgery had it midway through the season or at the end of the season, giving them the entire offseason to recuperate.
• Phils hope Goeddel can step up in Altherr's absence
Altherr won't have that luxury. He plans to play again this year.
Here is a look at a few of the players to have had the injury:
• Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira tried to play through the injury early in 2013 before having surgery that July. He returned to the Yankees' lineup in April 2014, but posted the lowest OPS (.711) of his career. He returned to form (.906 OPS) last year.
• Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista had surgery in August 2012. He returned by Opening Day 2013, but posted his lowest OPS in four seasons (.856) before returning to form in 2014 (.928 OPS).
• Rays outfielder Sam Fuld had surgery on April 3, 2012, giving him a similar timeline as Altherr. He returned July 24. Fuld originally injured himself late in 2011, but tried rest and rehab in the offseason. He aggravated the wrist in March 2012. Fuld's unsuccessful attempt at rehab convinced Bautista to have his surgery when he did.
• Mark DeRosa had surgery in October 2009, but he called his procedure a "total failure." He played only 73 games with the Giants in 2010-11.
• Rickie Weeks had surgery in May 2009. He returned the following season, posting a career-high .830 OPS.
• Pat Burrell suffered the same injury in August 2004 and had been scheduled for surgery two weeks later. But Burrell changed his mind after a second opinion. He missed one month. He also had one of the best seasons of his career in 2005, hitting .281 with 32 home runs, 117 RBIs and an .892 OPS.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.