Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee will not come off the disabled list when he is eligible Friday.

According to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., Lee's condition is improving, but he has yet to throw his first bullpen session since the injury. The Phillies want to see him throw two bullpen sessions before activating him from the disabled list.

Barring any setbacks, Lee could return next week.

Cliff Lee underwent an MRI on last Thursday, which confirmed the initial diagnosis of a left oblique strain.  Oblique injuries rarely result in minimum DL stints, and it doesn't appear that Lee can be the exception to the rule.

Kyle Kendrick will continue to start in his place.