All-Star pitcher Ted Lilly, who's coming off ``clean-out'' surgery on his pitching shoulder,
was scheduled to see a doctor this afternoon because of a sore right knee that has been bothering him for at least the past few days. He's expected to get an MRI.
``I ran on it yesterday,'' said Lilly, who had arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus on the other knee last season. ``It's not something that I'm going to make a big deal out of.''
The knee didn't prevent or cut short a 10-minute throwing session off flat ground, from 90 feet, during today's first workouts for pitchers and catchers.
``Felt great,'' he said. ``My shoulder feels good. I'm real optimistic about that. I have expectations to not be too far behind.''
Lilly, who leads the Cubs' staff with 44 wins the past three seasons, had the shoulder surgery in early November and was already expected to open the season on the disabled list, with team estimates for a return ranging from mid-April to early May -- and outside speculation ranging beyond that.
Before the knee issue arose.
``Teddy seems to surprise me on a daily basis,'' teammate Ryan Dempster said. ``So I wouldn't be surprised if he's ready for his turn in the rotation at the start of the season. I know he's worked really hard and looks good. That's a long ways away ...''