Phillies expect Cliff Lee to avoid surgery, be ready for Opening Day

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Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee was shut down for the season on July 31 after the reoccurance of a strained flexor tendon in his elbow that sidelined him earlier in this season, so the 36-year-old’s status is a big question mark going into the offseason.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has never been particularly forthcoming about injuries, but for whatever it’s worth he told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Lee “is improved” and there’s a “high” level of confidence in his being ready for Opening Day.

Salisbury reports that both Dr. James Andrews and Dr. David Altcheck agreed that Lee won’t require surgery and can instead heal from rest and rehab, which includes platelet-rich plasma injections and plans to begin a throwing program in November.

Lee is under contract for $25 million next season, plus $27.5 million or a $12.5 million buyout for 2016.