Cliff Lee will miss at least one more start as he continues to recover from the oblique strain that has kept him out of game action since April 18. The veteran lefthander has yet to throw a bullpen session since he suffered the injury two days after his third start of the season. Lee has been throwing off of flat ground throughout his time on the disabled list, which leaves the Phillies hopeful that he will not need much in the way of mound work before returning to the active roster.
"We'll see," pitching coach Rich Dubee said when asked if Lee could be ready to return five days from Friday.
Lee has already missed two starts since straining his oblique in a bullpen session in San Francisco. Righthander Kyle Kendrick replaced him both times and is expected to do so again in Washington on Friday, when the Phillies are scheduled to face dynamic righthander Stephen Strasburg.
Dubee said that Lee will likely throw at least two bullpen sessions before getting back on the mound.
"The first one's probably not going to be a real big one," the pitching coach said prior to Monday's game against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park.
Lee has allowed just five earned runs with 18 strikeouts and two walks in 28 innings over three starts this season. The Phillies have lost all three games despite Lee's 1.96 ERA. Kendrick is coming off a solid start against the Cubs in which he allowed three runs, one of them unearned, in six innings, striking out seven and walking one in the Phillies' 5-1 loss on Sunday.
His first start of the season did not go nearly as well: the Diamondbacks scored seven runs on 11 hits in three innings against him in Arizona on April 23.