If you listened closely enough this past Wednesday, you could hear the collective groan of a city when we were all informed that Brad Lidge would be leaving Denver in the middle of a series with the Rockies to head back to Philadelphia for an MRI on his surgically-repaired elbow.

Ryan Madson is already out for a couple months and the bullpen probably wasn’t up to snuff to begin with, so losing Lidge would be an absolute catastrophe.

But Lidge and Phillie fans everywhere got some good news on Friday when it was revealed that there is only minor swelling in the joint and nothing more serious like a bone chip or any ligament damage that would have required a stint on the DL.

“We knew the elbow joint swelled up, but the problem is, we didn’t really know if there was something in there that made it swell up,” Lidge told the media after a Phillies win against the Brewers. “In my mind, I was praying there wasn’t. Fortunately, it turned out that way.

“My goal now is to get the inflammation out of there very fast. Hopefully, it’ll not take much more than a day or so. Then, obviously, we’ll be doing everything we can to prevent it from coming back. Once it’s gone it shouldn’t be back.”

Lidge will resume throwing on Saturday, and could even close out the game later that day, if necessary, and if he throws without any discomfort.

Phillies’ skipper Charlie Manuel is going to take it easy on Lidge because he understands he will be a vital piece later in the season. If they work him too hard in May, it could affect his ability to contribute in August and September when the games really start to count.

So if Lidge isn’t 100 percent when he throws Saturday morning, Manuel will look for other options should a save situation arise. It probably won’t be anyone specific, just whomever he feels most comfortable with at that time—most likely Jose Contreras.

Hopefully the Phils can continue to hit the long ball like they did against the Brewers Friday and they’ll be far enough ahead that it won’t matter.

Joe Blanton steps onto the mound without a win this season and a complete game could be just what he needs to get his season moving in the right direction.

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