NEW YORK - The options presented to Ross Gload were bleak: either play through the sometimes searing pain of a muscle tear in his right hip or undergo season-ending surgery.
Gload, 35, said he's too old to even contemplate a four-month rehab from surgery. So that left one choice.
"I just have to stay on it and deal with it," Gload said. "I don't really know. I'm kind of new to it, too."
Gload, the Phillies' top pinch-hitter, does not play often in the field. The injury, he said, can be managed with the right exercises and medication. It is not dissimilar to the hip injury Chase Utley played through for a good portion of 2008.
The hip began bothering Gload in mid-April. So he has played a month with the pain. It just wasn't until recently that the Phillies ordered further testing to reveal the extent of the damage. Gload said he was unsure how the injury occurred, but he never felt a tearing sensation.
"Some days are better than others," Gload said.
Entering Saturday, Gload was hitting .306 (11 for 36), with eight of those hits coming as a pinch-hitter. He is in the second year of a $2.6 million contract and is a free agent this winter.
Gload said he wasn't sure even a stint on the disabled list would benefit him. The reality is if he is to contribute for a full season, it will be while injured.
"It's not like a hamstring where you let it get better and in two weeks you feel 100 percent," Gload said. "It's something if you took two weeks off, it would probably hurt just as much in two weeks."
Manager Charlie Manuel has always been effusive in his praise for Gload and believes that even without regular at-bats, he can still be effective. (He did, after all, start only 15 games in 2010.)
"He's more apt to be able to do that than anyone else I know," Manuel said.
For the first time in 65 days, Brad Lidge pitched in a game. It was but a first step - games in extended spring training qualify as nothing more. But the erstwhile Phillies closer completed an inning, allowed a hit, and struck out a batter on 24 pitches in Clearwater, Fla.
Lidge has a partially torn rotator cuff and is effectively going through spring training again. Typically, Lidge has needed eight to 10 outings in the spring to prepare for the season, and the Phillies have set that as a loose guideline for this process.
Lidge is scheduled to pitch in another extended spring game Tuesday in Clearwater.
Possible help down the line for the outfield was officially added to triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday when veteran Scott Podsednik joined the team. To make room, the Phillies released outfielder Cory Sullivan.
Podsednik, the 35-year-old former stolen-base champion, will have a shot to prove his value at triple A after opting out of his minor-league deal with Toronto.
Additionally, the Phillies signed lefthander Les Walrond and assigned him to double-A Reading. Walrond, 34, pitched in six games for the Phillies in 2008. Since then, he has pitched in Japan and Korea and was most recently with Lancaster of the independent Atlantic League.
Vance Worley threw two side bullpen sessions since his last start and said he has noticed improvement in his slider. Worley pitched only five innings in his last start and attributed a lack of stamina to his control issues. . . . The Phillies will face another lefthanded starter, Jonathon Niese, on Sunday. Charlie Manuel did not say whether he would start Domonic Brown, who has yet to face a lefty starter.