Lidge hopeful he won't miss much time
Closer to use DL stint to get sprained knee fully healthy
NEW YORK -- Ryan Howard tackled Brad Lidge in front of the pitcher's mound at Citizens Bank Park last October.
The rest of his Phillies teammates piled on moments later.
Lidge, who the Phils placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a sprained right knee, remarked in the offseason how he felt like his knee "did something weird" as his teammates piled upon him. Naturally, Phillies fans wondered Wednesday if Lidge actually could have injured his knee during one of the greatest moments in Philadelphia sports history.
"Underneath that pile, my knee definitely did feel like it was up around my head somehow," he said Wednesday from the visitors' dugout at Citi Field. "And for a couple seconds, I was a little worried. But everybody got off. I walked it off afterward. I wouldn't be able to have worked out all winter and all Spring Training and not have felt it at all, and all of a sudden, have it come back if that's what happened."
So no knee pops or blow outs in the pile?
"No, nothing like that," Lidge said. "That's definitely not what caused this."
The Phillies told Lidge they were placing him on the DL on Tuesday. Lidge said he wasn't happy about the decision when he learned about it, but he said he ultimately agreed with it.
"I wasn't thrilled with it, but I'm going to look at it as an opportunity to get my knee to a point where it's 100 percent better and I'm not having to worry about it," Lidge said. "I'm not going to have to worry, if I throw a couple days in a row, that it's going to hurt a lot. The way I am right now about it, I agree with it."
Lidge agrees because he noticed his velocity dip in his last appearance Saturday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. He also has battled his mechanics in an effort to avoid putting pressure on the knee. Bad mechanics can lead to arm injuries, and that is something every pitcher wants to avoid.
Lidge, who received a cortisone injection in his knee Tuesday, is eligible to be activated from the disabled list June 23. It remains to be seen how long Lidge might need to rest to knock out the inflammation in his knee joint, but he said he is hopeful it won't be much longer than the 15 days required to spend on the DL.
Lidge, who said he does not think he will require surgery at any point, including the offseason, thinks he won't need much more time than that because he said his knee actually has improved gradually over time.
Unfortunately, it hasn't improved in a straight line. It feels good some days. Then Lidge aggravates it by fielding a ball or covering first base.
"I think it is going to get better if it doesn't keep getting aggravated," Lidge said. "The swelling seems to get out of there for the most part, then I'll aggravate it and it'll come right back. We're hoping that if it can get out of there for the most part and if it doesn't get aggravated, it'll get out of there totally."
And what is Plan B if a couple weeks don't work?
"We haven't really looked at Plan B," Lidge said. "We're hoping Plan A works. We're feeling very confident that it will. Obviously, there are no guarantees in that."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.