Will Carroll
Monday February 21st, 2011

Most injuries this early in spring training aren't worth the ink -- or pixels -- to mention. With Cliff Lee, the big-dollar, big-game pitcher brought back to the Phillies this season, a muscle strain that's vaguely described bears a little more notice.

Lee missed nearly a full season with an abdominal strain in 2007. He came back from that to put together a string of Cy Young-caliber campaigns. That was central and low, so something that's likely an oblique strain is not likely to be related, but the Phillies' top notch medical staff will be watching closely. Lee has already been checked by the staff, despite the injury happening before camp.

Look for Lee to be brought back slowly. Once you see him back on the mound, throwing full speed, you can forget this ever happened. If he's back before March 1, this was minor and precautionary, something that wouldn't change Lee's 2011 risk profile significantly.

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