Cliff Lee took another small step in his recovery from an elbow strain on Thursday. The left-hander made 40-45 tosses on flat ground and was pleased with the results.
“It’s feeling good, progressing, it’s getting there,” Lee said afterward. “There’s a little tightness, but that’s from all the exercises I’ve been doing. Overall, it feels good.”
If Lee continues to feel good, he could play catch again on Friday and then be ready to increase the intensity of his throwing early next week.
Lee went on the disabled list on May 20 with a strained flexor-pronator tendon. He did not throw a ball for three weeks until he first played catch on Tuesday. That was a three-week shutdown. Lee will likely need a corresponding three-week period of time to build health and arm strength.
“They’ve basically told me that however long you’re down is how long you'll need to build back up,” Lee said.
That timetable would have Lee returning sometime in early July – but that’s only if all continues to go well in his recovery. The Phillies have put no official timetable on his return. Lee’s body will dictate that.
Once he graduates from flat-ground throwing, Lee expects to throw several bullpen sessions, followed by simulated games and probably a minor-league rehab start, “depending on what the team wants me to do,” he said.