Though Cliff Lee’s “forearm strain,” a tear in his flexor tendon, is potentially career ending, the Phillies have just placed Lee on the 60-day DL as he’ll try to rehab without surgery. The Phillies’ statement reads:
“Cliff has now attempted to twice rehabilitate this injury without having surgery. While surgery has now been recommended, it would effectively put an end to his 2015 season as the rehabilitation from the surgery would run through the end of the season.”
Lee will immediately stop throwing and he’ll go home to rest and begin rehab. The hope is that he’ll recover without surgery and be able to pitch again this year, though it’s hard to imagine that happening at all, and even harder to see it not leading to a career-ending injury. He’s already attempted to rehab this same injury twice, and that didn’t work. I’m not an expert in flexor tendons, but I did just give myself a headache from rolling my eyes at the Phillies and their training staff, which seems to subscribe to the ice it and tape it philosophy (see: Utley comma Chase).
The Phillies (and Cliff Lee) might be the only people that think they can fix Lee’s 36-year-old arm with some rest and stretching. It’s likely this could be the end of the road for Lee, it just hasn’t been written down yet.