Lee throws with discomfort; Harang scratched

Surgery still a possibility for ace lefty; back acts up for Harang

Lee throws with discomfort; Harang scratched

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A little more than three weeks before Opening Day, the Phillies have some serious health questions about their rotation.

Cliff Lee threw Thursday, but the discomfort in his left elbow remained. He is trying to pitch with a tear in the common flexor tendon, but if he cannot pitch then season-ending surgery is the next option.

Then the Phillies scratched Aaron Harang from Saturday's start against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., because he has "lower back discomfort."

The Phillies said it is precautionary, and Harang is day to day.

"I'm not that concerned about it," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It's a muscular thing that he has."

This is the second time Harang has missed a start this spring because of his back. He pitched Monday against the Orioles and said his back felt fine.

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