No surgery for Cliff Lee, who will rest injured elbow

080714-cliff-lee-600
Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Cliff Lee will not require surgery for his strained left elbow, a Phillies official said Thursday, but another elongated period of rest will not quell doubt about Lee's availability for 2015.

The Phillies, for now, expect him to be ready for spring training. The lefthander, owed $37.5 million next season (including a buyout for 2016), received a platelet-rich plasma injection Wednesday in Philadelphia. Lee was examined by David Altcheck, the Mets team doctor, in New York. The diagnosis did not change from May, when Lee suffered a flexor pronator strain. That sidelined him for two months.

This time, the Phillies could plan a lengthier shutdown. Amaro was not available for comment Thursday morning.

"We hope to get him into a throwing program in October or November," Amaro told MLB.com. “But right now he needs to rest."

This is Lee's first arm injury. He turns 36 on Aug. 30. He will take his prescribed rest at home in Arkansas.

The flexor pronator muscle is one typically associated with Tommy John surgeries. San Diego pitcher Josh Johnson was diagnosed with a flexor strain in spring training. He opted for Tommy John surgery in late April. That is just one of countless examples.

But it does not always lead to surgery. Roy Halladay divulged last September that he was diagnosed with a flexor pronator injury in the mid-2000s. He was told he would eventually need surgery, but that never happened. (Halladay's surgery in 2013 was on his shoulder, not his elbow.)

Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus missed half of 2012 with a flexor pronator strain but never underwent surgery.


Have a question? Tweet @MattGelb for possible use in a future mailbag.

Continue Reading