Cliff Lee will make his long anticipated return to the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, coming off the disabled list to start against the San Francisco Giants.
Lee landed on the DL on May 18 with a strained flexor-pronator tendon in his left elbow. As CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury notes, the initial expectation was that he'd miss just a few weeks, but that turned into two months on the shelf.
"Yeah, it did [take longer than expected]," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said. "But we had to be cautious with him. We can't pitch him when he isn't ready to pitch."
Lee's return has been highly anticipated. The Phillies have the worst record in the NL East. Lee is expected to be one of the more attractive options available before the upcoming trade deadline.
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The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays were reportedly in attendance at his latest rehab outing.
Lee, who will turn 36 next month, has roughly $37.5 million in guaranteed money due to him after this season.
- Aaron Somers