Amaro: Lee had mild strain

"We shut him down for a week and now he's right back on time," said Ruben Amaro Jr. regarding Cliff Lee. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Cliff Lee's Carpenter Complex side sessions have been a little bit shorter than his pitching peers since the Phillies opened spring training a week ago, and a mild strain under his left arm pit is the reason why.

The Inquirer learned Sunday that the Phillies' prized free-agent addition developed soreness while throwing at home in Arkansas before the start of spring training, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted Lee is now 100 percent.

Lee revealed the soreness to the Phillies and was examined by team physician Michael Ciccotti before the start of spring training.


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"He was diagnosed with a mild strain," Amaro said. "We shut him down for a week and now he's right back on time. We're probably being a little cautious with him, but he feels great now and he should be fine. He had a strain, but  now he is fine."

Lee has a long history of abdominal problems, but the Phillies' general manager insisted this injury was unrelated.

"This was just under his left arm pit," Amaro said. "This has nothing to do with what he used to have. We were cautious in that first bullpen and after that he was 100 percent."

Lee, 32, has opened the season on the disabled list because of abdominal strains twice in his career, including last season with the Seattle Mariners when he did not make his initial start until April 30. Lee did not make his first start in 2007 with Cleveland until May 3. He first experienced abdominal problems during the 2003 season when he pitched at four different levels, including the major leagues, with the Indians.

Lee, after being traded from Seattle to Texas last season, missed one September start because of back soreness.  

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