Lidge on track for Tuesday game action

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies closer Brad Lidge said he is back on track.

He threw roughly 35 pitches Sunday morning in a bullpen session at Bright House Field. Lidge, who has not pitched in a Grapefruit League game since March 11 because of right biceps tendinitis, said he expects to pitch in a game Tuesday.

"I was very encouraged by this one," Lidge said.

Lidge's velocity had been down this spring. He said he held back a bit when he threw a bullpen session Friday, but let loose a little more Sunday.

"It still felt really good," Lidge said. "This is the step we needed to get me back into games. Now, hopefully, I'll get four or five outings in. That should be enough. I feel real comfortable with everything right now, and fortunately we've still got a few days [left in Spring Training]."

Lidge said he could pitch every other day between Tuesday and Opening Day, which is April 1 against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park. He said that schedule should have him ready for the start of the season.

Polanco could return to action next week

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco said he could play in a Grapefruit League game next week. He has not played since Tuesday when he hyperextended his left elbow.

The Phillies have been cautious with Polanco because he had surgery to remove bone fragments and repair the extensor tendon in the same elbow in October.

Polanco said he plans to hit off the practice tee Monday. If he feels OK, he said he could take batting practice Tuesday. And if he feels good after that, he said he could play in a game as early as Wednesday.

Worth noting

The Phillies announced Sunday they have added massage therapist Ichiro Kitano to the staff. He also will assist athletic trainers Scott Sheridan and Mark Andersen and strength and conditioning coordinator Dong Lien with their duties. Kitano will travel will the Phillies throughout the year. He has been a Minor League athletic trainer for six years, including the past three with Class A Clearwater. ... Former Phillies catcher Chris Coste told the Fargo-Moorhead Forum he will work as an analyst for Phillies games this season on Comcast SportsNet.