Trip to DL not imminent for Lidge
Phillies closer concerned with right knee inflammation
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies closer Brad Lidge said on Tuesday he isn't worried about the long term, but the inflammation in his right knee has his full attention in the short term.
Lidge has been unable to pitch since Saturday because of the inflammation, which is in the same knee that required surgery twice before the 2008 season. But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and Lidge both said a trip to the disabled list is not on the horizon.
"If he's not able to perform, then it's something we'll have to consider," Amaro said.
"In a couple days if it's still bothering me, then that would be the best idea," Lidge said.
Lidge has concerns because the inflammation is in the area where he had his previous surgeries. But a MRI exam April 20 revealed no tears.
"Based on the MRI and the tests, it's not a long term problem," Lidge said.
Lidge also received a cortisone injection April 20. He pitched Thursday against Milwaukee and Saturday against Florida, and that might not have been enough of a break to get the shot to work. So Lidge said he plans to rest. He would not say he could not pitch Tuesday night against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park, although he said it would be tough.
"I was trying to get the shot and just plow through it," Lidge said. "But as it turns out, it needs a bit of R&R time. My goal right now is to make it go away and with good mechanics when I come back, not have it bother me again. If I have bad mechanics when I come back, it'll probably resurface again. I really have to focus on that and make sure when I start up it's not going to be bothering me right out of the chute."
Lidge isn't sure if bad mechanics gave him the inflammation or the inflammation gave him bad mechanics.
"I've got to work through a couple bullpen sessions, which I'm trying to do right now before I go in a game," he said.
Lidge said there is not date for him to get back in a game. But clearly the Phillies and Lidge want to knock out this problem immediately so it does not linger throughout the season. Besides rest, Lidge has stepped up his dosage of anti-inflammatories.
"We're hoping that works," he said. "I don't know if it's going to go away over night, but we want to get it to the point where I don't have to worry about it while I'm pitching, and I don't have to worry about it the rest of the year. That's the big thing right now. I don't want something that's going to hang around all year and just creates a grind every time I go out there. I want to knock it out and do whatever it's going to take to do that."
Should Lidge require a trip to the DL, options could include right-hander Mike Koplove (0-1 with a 0.93 ERA in eight appearances) and right-hander Gary Majewski (0-1 with a 0.75 ERA in nine appearances).
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.