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Lidge set to return to action

Lidge set to return to action

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brad Lidge is ready.

If Lidge is not 100 percent healthy, he said Wednesday that he is very, very close to it. The closer has been on the disabled list since June 6 because of a sprained right knee, but Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday that Lidge would be activated before Thursday's series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

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The Phillies made that move on Thursday, activating Lidge and optioning left-hander Sergio Escalona to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

"I felt real good again," Lidge said, referring to Tuesday's rehab appearance for Class A Clearwater. "Nothing hurts."

The plan for Lidge when the Phillies placed him on the DL was that he would return only when he was completely healthy.

Lidge said he is. That means if he needs to pitch in the ninth inning Thursday, he would be available to pitch Friday.

"I would doubt there would be any restrictions," Lidge said. "I feel I can do three days in a row right now. I guess that's a bridge we'll be happy to cross when we get there. ... I can't predict that it's going to feel fine, but I think it will. I can't imagine why it won't."

With Lidge back, the Phillies have left-hander Scott Eyre (strained left calf) and right-hander Clay Condrey (strained left oblique) remaining on the DL.

Eyre threw off the mound Wednesday.

"He's improving," Amaro said. "He's probably improving faster than we thought he would."

Eyre is eligible to be activated Saturday, although that is unlikely. He could begin a rehab assignment before the end of the week.

Condrey can't be activated until July 4.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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