Days after having knee surgery, Phillies closer Brad Lidge says his goal remains to be ready for the start of the season, something he termed "possible," during an interview today with the Daily News' Paul Hagen:
Question: How has the offseason been to this point?
Lidge: “Lots of rehab and getting ready to get to spring training. I’ll probably start throwing here really soon. My knee’s feeling pretty good and my arm’s feeling great. My arm’s actually feeling stronger than it has in a long time and the range of motion is better than it’s been in a long time, so I’m very confident that my arm is going to be feeling good. It’s just getting my legs strong enough. I want to be ready for the start of the season. That’s my goal. I still think it’s possible. I’m just going to have to work really hard to do that and hope there are no setbacks or anything.”
Question: How has this offseason been different from last, when you were coming off the perfect season and the Phillies winning the World Series?
Lidge: "I’m trying to get back to where I was in 2008. Last year was disappointing for me from an individual standpoint. I’m still happy that we got back to the World Series. I was happy to perform all right during the playoffs before the World Series.
"But the biggest thing for me when the season came to a close was that I realized there were a few things I needed to get addressed this offseason and that it would be very difficult for me to go about another season like 2009 without getting it taken care of.
"So I had the scope on the elbow and the scope on the knee and at this point I’m feeling a lot more confident. I’m feeling a lot like I did the offseason between ’07 and ’08 as opposed to where I have a lot of stuff to work on, a lot of rehab to do."
Question: How confident are you that the knee won’t be a recurring issue after several problems just since joining Phillies?
Lidge: “That’s a fair question. The biggest thing for me is, initially, the surgery that I had on my right knee was a larger surgery to replace some cartilage. And that was a little bit bigger surgery. From that surgery they ended up doing a couple things and one of them didn’t take. And I ended up tearing the meniscus because of that the following spring. So there were two kind of back-to-back things that were done to get my knee where it needed to be.
“And then what happened was my knee ended up feeling so good last spring I ended up adding a lot of things to my weight routine, trying to get my legs even stronger than they’ve ever been. You do a certain thing for a long time and then all of a sudden you add a bunch of different things. Everything was feeling good and it seemed like a good idea at the time. But it ended up creating a little more stress on my knee than I needed.
“The surgery I just had wasn’t a major surgery. But it did address some bone fragments and some fraying that happened. I believe it was a result of trying to do too much. So, for me, I feel real confident that if I just go back to my normal program and I’m smart about what I’m doing with my knee that it should get back to where it needs to be and stay there.
“I don’t foresee any reason to believe it will need a surgery here or there. I really don’t.”
Read more in tomorrow's Daily News.