Brad Lidge is back in Philadelphia and will undergo surgery Monday [February 25, 2008] to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, which will put him out for the next three to six weeks. The timing is precarious since the Phillies open their season in four weeks, meaning that Lidge could possibly be back for the season opener, but could also miss a couple weeks of the regular season.
Lidge took the mound for the first time in spring training on Saturday and was in pain after throwing the first pitch of a batting practice session. Lidge reportedly caught his cleat on the mound and initially thought that he had pulled some scar tissue in the knee that he had surgically repaired last October. Lidge threw one more pitch before the Phillies shut him down and sent him to the trainer's room. The Phillies examined Lidge on Sunday and discovered the extent of the injury.
Lidge had been slightly limited in his workouts so far this spring, but figured on being ready for opening day. The Phillies acquired Lidge from the Houston Astros last November, giving up reliever Geoff Geary, outfielder Michael Bourn and third base prospect Mike Costanzo in the deal. The move allowed the Phillies to move Brett Myers back to the starting rotation after a season as the team's closer in 2007.
Manuel said that Tom Gordon will temporarily move into the closer's spot for the Phillies until Lidge can return.