Ted Lilly’s sore left elbow has “been off and on for a while”

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Ted Lilly has allowed six runs in each of his last three starts and had his next turn in the rotation pushed back a day because of what Ken Gurnick of MLB.com calls “a tender left elbow.”

And even while trying to downplay the injury’s impact on his recent performance Lilly told Gurnick that his elbow has “been off and on for a while.”

He’s had to skip several between-start bullpen sessions, so another poor outing tonight against the Mets could force the Dodgers to shut him down in the hopes of actually letting him get past the elbow problems rather than simply continuing to pitch through them.

Lilly has a 4.97 ERA overall, which would be his worst mark since 2005 and includes a 7.01 ERA since June 1. And the Dodgers still owe the 35-year-old left-hander $10.5 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013.