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03/02/09 1:58 PM ET

Lidge has productive 'pen session

Phillies closer dealing with tightness in right forearm

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Brad Lidge isn't quite ready to reenact his 0-2 slider to Eric Hinske in Game 5 of the World Series, but he took a step forward Monday at Bright House Field.

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Lidge, who has battled tightness in his right forearm for the past week, had a productive bullpen session.

"I felt for the first time this spring like I have a fighting chance at getting somebody out," Lidge said with a laugh. "Before I was wondering how I was going to do it."

So what's up with the forearm tightness?

"The tightness is pretty typical for me coming into Spring Training," Lidge said. "I'm trying to throw in Colorado, but I can't get a ton of work in there. Then we come here and I'm throwing a lot. I go through a phase where I have tightness and stiffness and deadness and all the above. So I took a step back for about a week, but today in the bullpen, I was actually able to put something on it."

Lidge, who went 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA and 41 saves in 41 save opportunities last season, said he expects to throw at least one more bullpen session and a session of batting practice before he makes his Grapefruit League debut, perhaps next week.

Lidge would like to pitch about 10 Grapefruit League games before the April 5 season opener, and he thinks he's on schedule for that.

"The timetable right now is pretty good," Lidge said. "Today I threw well enough to be competitive, but I've got a little ways to go."

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