Phillies closer Brad Lidge could miss Opening Day after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Wednesday, his second operation this offseason.
Lidge, who spent time on the disabled list during the season because of pain in the knee, should begin a throwing program in 10 days, Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said. The operation was performed by team physician Michael Ciccotti at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
"We're not sure if he’ll be ready by Opening Day, but we don’t expect that he’ll be too far behind," Sheridan said. "This surgery was not directly related to any previous surgeries."
A team spokesman said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was unavailable for comment because he was traveling.
Earlier in the offseason, Lidge had bone chips removed from his right elbow. Before the 2008 season, Lidge had two arthroscopic procedures on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus.
Wednesday's surgery was done to remove loose bodies and a portion of the meniscus, Sheridan said.
The Phillies now face the reality of what could be a makeshift bullpen to start the 2010 season. With Lidge and J.C. Romero (elbow surgery) still recovering from injury and unlikely to be on the Opening Day roster, along with the departures of Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre, the relief corps will look very different.
Both Ryan Madson and newly acquired Danys Baez have experience closing games if Lidge isn't ready. Young lefties Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona could have a clear path to making the roster. And hard-throwing Scott Mathieson, fresh off two Tommy John surgeries, could end up being a key piece.
If the Phillies choose to add another reliever before spring training, the market is dwindling. Two left-handed relievers -- D.J. Carrasco (Pirates) and Brian Shouse (Red Sox) -- signed minor-league deals on Wednesday.