Billingsley to return to action in Minors game

Coming back from elbow surgeries, righty could join Phillies' rotation by late April

Billingsley to return to action in Minors game

TAMPA, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Chad Billingsley is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game on Saturday at Carpenter Complex.

Billingsley is recovering from a pair of right elbow surgeries, and this will be his first game action since June, when he made a rehab appearance with Double-A Rancho Cucamonga. The Phillies hope he can be ready to join the rotation by late April.

Billingsley's progress became increasingly important following this week's news that Cliff Lee is almost certainly lost for the season because of a torn tendon in his left elbow. Two other Phillies starters also have been banged up recently.

Right-hander Aaron Harang missed two of his first three Grapefruit League starts because of back problems. He started Thursday night against the Yankees. Right-hander Jerome Williams missed his last start because of a "tweaked" right hamstring. He is scheduled to start Sunday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers.

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