CLEARWATER, Fla. - A few weeks before lefthander Cliff Lee reported to spring training, he notified the Phillies that he had soreness under his left armpit, and after examination by team physician Michael Ciccotti it was determined he had a mild strain.
Lee has a long history of abdominal problems, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted Sunday night that this latest injury was not related.
"This is nothing to do with what he used to have," Amaro said.
The Phillies did proceed with caution during Lee's first session off a mound in spring training Tuesday, and he also threw less than his pitching peers Thursday.
"He's 100 percent," Amaro said. "He told us about it and I was glad that he did. We shut him down for a week [in January] and now he's right back on time. We're probably being a little cautious with him, but he feels great now and he should be fine."
Twice in Lee's career he has opened the season on the disabled list because of abdominal strains, including last season with the Seattle Mariners, when he did not make his initial start until April 30. Lee did not make his first start in 2007 with Cleveland until May 3 because of an abdominal injury. He first experienced abdominal problems during the 2003 season, when he pitched at four different levels, including the major leagues, with the Indians.
Lee, after being traded from Seattle to Texas last season, missed one September start because of back soreness.