PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals reliever Brad Lidge was examined by Dr. William Meyers, who performed the surgery to repair his sports hernia on May 1, and was cleared to begin throwing off a mound.
Lidge said he will throw a light bullpen session on Wednesday, then fly to Viera, Fla., to continue his rehab at the Nationals' Spring Training facility. If all goes well, he should be able to begin a rehab assignment after a few more bullpen sessions. The target date for him to be activated is June 15, although he said he hopes to return sooner.
"I feel good. It's surprising how good you can feel in three weeks," Lidge said. "Any time you have to have surgery it's horrible. But at least this one's quick."
The closer for the Phillies' 2008 World Series championship team, Lidge worked out at Citizens Bank Park much of the offseason before being signed as a free agent by Washington.
"At that time, I was still a Phillie in my mind. So it's only been a few months since anything's changed. It really doesn't feel like I've been gone that long," Lidge said. "I felt like I had a spot here. My thought was that, in the end, I would take pretty much whatever [the Phillies offered], no matter what that was. But there was no contract offer.
"It was disappointing. But at that point, you're just collecting the pieces and saying, 'All right, now where do I go?' You're forced to turn the page quickly. There's no time to sit and sulk. And fortunately, I landed on a really good team."
Lidge added that it was "cool" to be back. He stopped in the Phillies' clubhouse before the game to say hello to his former teammates.
"It's great to see the guys on the other side," Lidge said. "This is an incredible place to play baseball."