MRI on Cliff Lee’s Elbow Shows Mild Inflammation
Cliff Lee looked great pitching two scoreless innings, allowing a pair of singles, in his spring debut Thursday against the Astros.
Lee began complaining of discomfort in his left elbow Sunday after tossing two innings last Thursday in his Grapefruit League debut and acknowledged today that his career may be over if he needs left elbow surgery.
"So basically if I have the surgery this season will be done," Lee admitted to reporters in Clearwater. "Possibly my career I guess. I don't know. We'll have to see."
The Phillies released a statement on Saturday saying that an MRI on Lee's left elbow showed mild inflammation. The left elbow is the same area as last season's flexor pronator strain.
Lee saw his 2014 season end prematurely due to a flexor pronator strain in his pitching elbow, and he's dealing with the same issue again.
“It will take a couple of days to get the fluid out of the area from the MRI and Cliff will likely begin to throw again on Monday. He will progress his throwing program as tolerated. He will not make his scheduled start on Tuesday and his next start is TBD,” GM Ruben Amaro said in the release. “In the meantime we will have the MRI read as a second opinion by Dr. James Andrews. He will likely see the images on Monday or Tuesday. We will determine Cliff’s continued progressions accordingly.”
This is obviously not good news for the Phillies who most likely would like to move Lee and continue their rebuilding plan. Without Lee as a trade chip, the attention turns back to Cole Hamels - where it appears one team might have stepped up in pursuit of the lefty.
But as ESPN.com MLB senior baseball writer Jasyon Stark pointed out, the guy the Phillies were motivated to move first was Lee.