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Lidge throws off mound; rehab possible by this weekend

The baseball season is a beast that pauses for no one or no thing. Witness Brad Lidge -- it seems like just yesterday the Phillies placed him on the disabled list. Yet he has just five days remaining before he is eligible to be activated.

Lidge almost surely won't be returning at the end of those 15 days, but the closer took a big step today when he threw off the mound for the first time since June 6. Lidge threw about 30 pitches, and reported no pain in his right knee, which has been hampered by inflammation throughout the season.

"I'd consider today pretty successful," Lidge said. "I went down to the bullpen and completely pushed off my back leg without any pain at all. And that's more than I've done for awhile. We have to make sure that it doesn't start feeling bad tomorrow, but I don't think it will. Being able to push off like that, letting it go toward the catcher without thinking about it, for me that's big-time progress."

A rehab assignment has not been scheduled for Lidge, but he said he thinks it could begin as soon as this weekend. Lidge is eligible to return to the active roster on June 23.