CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Brad Lidge came to spring training healthy, a rare occurrence. He will leave Florida on the disabled list with a new, troubling injury: Pain in the back of his right shoulder.
Lidge said he will be shut down for the unforeseen future and will undergo an MRI when the team returns to Philadelphia next week. He will miss opening day.
The 34-year-old closer said this is new pain he has not experienced. He had been sidelined earlier this spring with biceps tendinitis, but the pain has now migrated to the back of the shoulder.
The Phillies are hopeful it is not a long-term issue but they will not know until the MRI is performed. They have not ruled out a structural problem in the shoulder.
Lidge, who is perpetually positive when it comes to discussing injuries, was noticably distraught Friday morning.
"I'm a little concerned because I haven't had shoulder problems in the past," Lidge said. "That being said, it might just be – there's other things in there you can have that can be a byproduct of just straining it and they're not serious. That's obviously what I'm counting on right now."
But that will not be known for a few days.
Lidge was definitely upset after Thursday's outing because he uncharacteristically chose not to speak to reporters. He struck out the first two batters he faced against Minnesota and then on the first pitch to the third batter, he felt a great deal more of pain in the shoulder.
He allowed a home run, then a single and then two walks before he was removed without completing the inning against a bunch of Twins minor-leaguers.
It was his first outing in the Grapefruit League since March 11. He had pitched in a minor-league game Tuesday.
"It didn't go the way we were hoping," Lidge said. "Basically trying to bump up from the percentage that I was throwing at, which was that 85, 86, 87-mph range, trying to get to the next step, I wasn't ready yet. So we're going to have to take a little more time off and start back up again. Hopefully with a little more time to recover this time, that will get us where we need to go."
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lidge will "likely" begin on the disabled list. He doesn't believe it will be serious, but he admitted he cannot be sure.
"It's all concerning, of course," Amaro said. "Once we do further studies, we'll know more. We don't think it'll be a long-term issue, but it could be."
In his absence, Amaro said either Ryan Madson or Jose Contreras will close. The team will also likely break camp with 12 pitchers.
Lidge is due $11.5 million in 2011. The Phillies hold a $12.5 million option for 2012 with a $1.5 million buyout.
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