The timetable for closer Brad Lidge to return may have just been pushed back. After multiple off-season surgeries on both his knee and elbow, Lidge is still experiencing pain in the elbow, although no structural damage has been found. As a result, he was given a cortisone shot. His doctor reports that the elbow inflammation is unrelated to the surgery.
While the team and Lidge are downplaying the seriousness of this issue, a cortisone shot is not a good sign. The fact that the pain is “unrelated” to the surgery could mean that this is a new issue; either that or they are just not giving us all of the facts. In addition, the frequency of injuries that Lidge seems to suffer from does not inspire confidence. Here is a quick review of Lidge’s injury history.
– Lidge missed parts of his first four professional seasons with a variety of injuries, including a torn rotator cuff, right shoulder tendinitis and a broken forearm that almost ended his career.
– 2002: strained intercostal muscle near the rib cage
– December 2003: arthroscopic surgery on his left knee
– June – July 2005: shut down with elbow issues
– May 2007: bone bruise on his right femur near his knee
– June – July 2007: left oblique strain
– October 2007: surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee
– February 2008: tore the meniscus in the same knee he just had surgery on during his first pitch off a mound in Spring Training.
– June 2009: sprained right knee and a sore elbow (his flexor pronator tendon).
– January 2010: surgery on both the elbow and the right knee again.
– March 2010: the elbow is still an issue and Lidge gets a cortisone injection.
Based on the evidence, are we to conclude that Lidge is made of glass? Fans grumbled when he came to Philly because of the injury history, but all was quickly forgotten when 2008 turned into the Perfect Season for him. 2009 was a disaster for Lidge and now, 2010 is not looking good either. Let the grumbling begin…
Another key Phillies pitcher has recently joined the injury parade; starter Joe Blanton strained his left oblique muscle while throwing in the bullpen on Wednesday. He has been placed on the 15-day DL, which puts his earliest return around April 20-28. This type of issue tends to drag on and take a while to heal, which is not good news for the Phillies.
Although, this is good news for Kyle Kendrick who will probably join the rotation now. And that leaves one bullpen spot open as well. Pitchers B.J. Rosenberg and Michael Stutes will travel north to Philly tomorrow for the last two exhibition games and it is likely that one of them may make the team now.
In other recent pitching disasters, Roy Halladay faced his former team for the first time yesterday. The Blue Jays, knowing their old teammate well, took advantage and nailed Halladay for 4 runs in the first inning including a 2-run homer. Halladay recovered and finished off the next two innings without incident. So maybe not quite a disaster….just another Spring Training game so no one really cares ;o)
The Phillies will face the Pirates today and then return to Philly tomorrow for the last few games before Opening Day on Monday in D.C.
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Photo by Jenn