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Cliff Lee Injury: Updates on Phillies Star's Arm and Return

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

USA Today

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee underwent evaluation after he felt elbow discomfort in the days following a spring training appearance. It was later revealed he has a tear in his flexor tendon. The team has placed him on the 60-day disabled list with a left forearm strain.

Continue for updates.   


Phillies Place Lee on 60-Day DL

Monday, March 16

The team announced it placed Lee on the 60-day disabled list due to a left forearm strain. The Phillies provided the following statement:

MLB @MLB

.@Phillies place LHP Cliff Lee on 60-day DL due to left forearm strain. Full statement: http://t.co/5fobgM4evm

MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reported earlier on Monday that Lee didn't throw the past two days: "Not encouraging for Lee, who has tear in common flexor tendon in left elbow."    

On March 11, the Phillies provided comment from Lee after a bullpen session, who said, "It does feel a little better. There's still something there, but it's not bad. So if it stays the way it is, I think I will be good. Time will tell."  

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com revealed on March 10 that Lee had a tear in his flexor tendon and that if the pitcher didn't show improvement, surgery was likely.

Jayson Stark of ESPN passed along comments from Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who said the team was "not terribly optimistic" Lee could avoid surgery.

"It would be six to eight months out. So basically if I have the surgery this season will be done. Possibly my career I guess. I don't know. We'll have to see," Lee said, courtesy of Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer on March 9. 

"Obviously you're going to take your chances on rest and rehab and that's what we did. So potentially I'm the 3 percent that needs surgery and potentially it's scar tissue breaking up and it's normal. But I think it's early to know which one it is," Lee added, per Breen. 

Stark recorded more comments from Lee regarding his current level of optimism: "I'm not going to go out there in pain to where something bad can potentially happen. I'm going to play as long as I comfortably can. When it’s uncomfortable to play and it hurts to play, then it's not worth it."

Lee also suggested he isn't sure about surgery, per Stark: "I've got a family at home and I've been away from them for a long time, so that is part of the equation."


Lee Scratched From Start

Sunday, March 8

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports passed along a statement from the Phillies:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

#Phillies’ statement on Lee: http://t.co/1i1Xg79R6w

Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News provided remarks from general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. about the situation.

"You have to be alarmed, we have to be concerned because it's the same area and he feels something," Amaro said. "It's the same area, the same issues he had last year."

Elbow trouble limited the left-hander to just 13 starts last season.

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