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Phils' Lopez expects to make next start

Lopez expects to make next start

PHILADELPHIA -- One day after leaving his start with right-shoulder inflammation, Phillies right-hander Rodrigo Lopez was upbeat and unconcerned.

"Compared with [Wednesday], I feel 100 percent different," Lopez said. "When I woke up, [it was] fine. And it seemed like everything is normal."

The 33-year-old veteran said he had never felt this "really weird sensation" before Wednesday, his second start after nearly a two-year layoff. Lopez was removed once his fastball hovered around 82 mph in the fifth inning. He had thrown 69 pitches, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out four.

Asked if Lopez would be ready by July 20, the next time the Phillies need a fifth starter, manager Charlie Manuel digressed into a discussion of the right-hander's pitching repertoire. Yet Lopez, who plans to play catch Friday or Saturday, is confident he will be fully recovered.

No tests have been performed on his arm, and none are scheduled.

"It really is not major," Lopez said. "I feel much better today. If I felt tightness or really sore or even pain, then we'd think about [tests]. But I feel like I'm fine.

Ibanez to play two: Manuel also said he would like injured left fielder Raul Ibanez (strained left groin) to play in two of the Phillies' three games against the Pirates this weekend, although the manager did not specify which games.

Ibanez could start as early as Friday. He played for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday in his third and potentially final rehab appearance. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored in five innings for Double-A Reading on Monday, then 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored for Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.

Earning his first career All-Star selection, the 37-year-old was hitting .312 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs before landing on the disabled list June 18.

Condrey heading to Florida: Right-handed reliever Clay Condrey, on the DL with a strained left oblique, is nearing the next step in his recovery.

"He's getting close," Manuel said. "Any day now, he'll go down to Florida for rehab."

Condrey, 33, is 4-2 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 games this season.

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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