Lilly feels fine after bullpen session
Southpaw on track in return from left shoulder inflammation
DENVER -- Cubs starter Ted Lilly is right on track in his rehabilitation from the left shoulder inflammation that sent him on the disabled list on July 25 (retroactive to July 21). He threw a bullpen session at Coors Field on Friday, and both Lilly and pitching coach Larry Rothschild were pleased with the outing.
"It went good. No pain," Lilly said. "I kind of figure as far as health, I'm in good shape. Now it's just a matter of getting back into baseball shape, getting my arm and legs back in shape good enough to pitch in a Major League game."
Rothschild is eager to see how Lilly feels a day after the bullpen session, and if all goes well, the lefty will probably get another session in Colorado and perhaps be ready to face batters next week.
"If he's OK by the time we get home, maybe a light-throw day and then a simulated game or a Minor League rehab game," manager Lou Piniella said. "And then we'll be ready to point him into the rotation. I would think that Ted's probably 10 days away or so."
In addition to his shoulder inflammation, Lilly underwent a minor arthroscopic procedure on his left knee. Rothschild said the shoulder was the issue of greatest concern and the knee treatment is only an issue if it doesn't go well.
"His session went well," Rothschild said. "He had real good arm speed. He was using his legs, which indicates to me that his arm feels good. So far, there's no setbacks."
Timing for Lilly and for the team will be an issue in determining whether he needs a Minor League rehab stint or if he can slide back into the rotation after a simulated game. With Carlos Zambrano scratched from his scheduled start Friday and only lasting three innings in his previous start, the rotation is hitting a bit of a bump.
"It's hard to say [how soon I can come back] at this point," Lilly said. "I think in the next couple days I'll sit down with them and try to map out some sort of plan as to when I can come back. If they want me to [make a Minor League rehab start], I don't have a problem doing it. It's up to them."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.