Could Cliff Lee’s Injury Mark The End Of His Career?
As the Philadelphia Phillies go through their training camp, one thing remains a question mark: the state of Cliff Lee. While the doctors have cleared him to play, he still has a torn common flexor tendon on his elbow and there is the possibility of season-ending surgery.
Coming off a 2014 season that saw him sidelined due to this injury, the former star has to be worried that the tear in his left elbow could be the end of his career.
“I feel like I’ve done everything I could in my career to give myself the best chance,” Lee told ESPN. “If it happens to be nearing the end, it is what it is. I don’t have any regrets. So that’s the main thing. Just as long as I can look back and comfortably say, ‘I didn’t cheat this or cheat that. I wish I would have done this or would have done that.’ As long as I don’t do that, I can live with anything.”
If he does get surgery this year that would effectively end his time in Philadelphia: the Phillies have the option to buyout his deal in 2016 for $12.5 million. However, the athlete and the organization are going to take this injury day-by-day, hoping there is a chance to salvage the season.
“There’s no timeline [to decide on surgery],” the left-hander told ESPN. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and do it as long as I can. I’m not going to go out there in pain to where something bad can potentially happen. That doesn’t make sense to me. So I’m going to play as long as I comfortably can. When it’s uncomfortable to play and it hurts to play, then it’s not worth it.”
Obviously, if he continues to feel pain, then he will get the surgery. And the recovery time would be around six to eight months, according to Phillies athletic trainer Scott Sheridan. While it would not be as bad as Tommy John surgery, it still would end what could be considered a disappointing tenure in Philadelphia.
Since being traded to the Phillies, he has had one amazing season in 2011 and a bunch of others ranging from mediocre to okay. His record after five years in the city of brotherly love is 48-34 with a 2.94 ERA and 813 strikeouts.
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