We’ll have more later today, but the Cubs announced that lefty Ted Lilly underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder yesterday in L.A. The procedure was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum. In a release, the Cubs said Yocum “found no major damage to Lilly’s shoulder and the procedure consisted of a washout and cleanup of the shoulder” and that the surgery took about one hour.
The Cubs say Ted will begin a rehab program and will be evaluated after Jan. 1 to see when he can begin a throwing program. They say they're hopeful he can be in the rotation within the month of April.
We’re scheduled to talk with Ted and with Jim Hendry this afternoon. If you remember, Ted had some shoulder issues this year, along with knee surgery.
UPDATE: Ted said he hoped to begin throwing again in four months, which would mean the first part of March, just when Cactus League games are under way.
"The idea is maybe to start throwing in four months or so," he said. "A lot of that is going to be dictated on just how the rehab goes. That can change one way or another. My intention is to get back as soon as I can without setting myself back."
Hendry joined us soon after Ted was done. One question that came up was whether this would have an effect on whether the Cubs would try to keep Rich Harden. Jim didn't want a whole lot to do with that question. About all he said was that he has talked with the agents for Harden and reliever John Grabow, whom he'd like to re-sign.
"We haven't made any decisions yet on who's coming back or not from the club we ended the season with," Jim said. "This wouldn't alter our plans about adding another starter because Lew Yocum is one of the best in the world. If he felt that...if the rehab went according to plan, the way Ted goes about his business, that there's a good possibility Ted will be pitching in April. We certainly don't want to take that spot away from Ted if he's ready."
Lilly will be entering the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract.
The folks from Mesa, Arizona, also are having a news conference to talk about their efforts to keep the Cubs for spring training. I’ll listen in.
Be back with more later.