Early in the offseason, the Phillies did not anticipate Brad Lidge needing surgery on right knee, which bothered him early last season and forced him to spend some time in the disabled list. That apparently changed, as Lidge underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee yesterday, according to a press release issued by the team.

The surgery is Lidge's second of the offseason, although team trainer Scott Sheridan said in a statement that the procedure was unrelated to any previous ones that the closer has undergone. Lidge had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone fragments from his right elbow earlier this offseason. Prior to the 2008 season, he had two arthroscopic procedures on his knee.

In yesterday's surgery, Lidge had loose bodies removed from the knee and a portion of his meniscus removed ("debridement," in medical terms).

The Phillies said that Lidge is expected to begin a throwing program in 10 days. He could miss Opening Day, but Sheridan said he isn't expected to be sidelined much longer than that.

At this point, it looks like the Phillies face the very real possibility of entering the regular season without Lidge or left-handed set-up man J.C. Romero. Romero is expected to miss at least the first week or two of the season, but should by back with the team by the start of May.