"I'm hoping," Lidge said. "If they let me . . . I feel good enough to do it."
Dubee said it was a possibility.
"We'll judge that when we have to judge that," the pitching coach said. "He threw well."
Lidge said he planned to play catch Thursday, then throw another bullpen session at one of the minor-league affiliates. Once he begins his official rehab assignment, he can spend a maximum of 30 days pitching in the minors. Lidge thinks he needs about 10 appearances.
His hope is to return before the end of July.
"If there are no setbacks," Lidge said, "I would think so."
That, of course, is not a given. Lidge was pitching in extended spring training games a few weeks ago when soreness in his elbow developed. That paused his recovery.
And no one is sure what sort of pitcher Lidge can be until he throws with regularity. But the Phillies are paying Lidge $11.5 million this season, and with the depth of the bullpen being tested, a capable Lidge would be welcomed.
Ruben Amaro Jr. has spoken at length about his affinity for pitching help. On Tuesday, the general manager noted that much of the help could come from within if Lidge, Jose Contreras, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton all heal by August.
"Everybody wants to talk about the offense," Amaro said. "To me, it's about the pitching. Those are the things that win championships. If we were able to do some things in that area, it would be great. But we're hopeful we can get Contreras back and maybe Lidge as well and go from there."
Lidge may feel healthy, but the condition of his arm strength is a great unknown.
"It's tough to tell," Dubee said. "He's throwing on the side. He's going after it. But you'll get that added adrenaline, too. That means a lot."
Blanton's slow progress
The condition of Blanton (elbow inflammation) is just as unknown. The righthander remains in Clearwater, Fla., and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday.
Dubee admitted that Blanton's is not progressing as smoothly as the team had hoped.
"Maybe a little slower, but not far off," Dubee said. "He's all right."
Blanton last pitched off a mound May 19 - exactly six weeks ago - when he failed to get loose enough in the bullpen before a start.
Romero joins Nationals
The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with former Phillies reliever J.C. Romero. The lefthander was released by the Phillies last week when he declined to accept a minor-league assignment after clearing waivers.
Romero will report to triple-A Syracuse, likely with an assurance that he'll come to the majors so long as he shows he is healthy. If he does suit up for the Nationals, he would be the third 2008 World Series champion in Washington, along with Jayson Werth and Matt Stairs.
Only six other starting pitchers ever went 5-0 with an ERA better than 0.21, which is what Cliff Lee posted in June. They were: Gary Bush (6-0, 0.19 in August 1926), Fernando Valenzuela (5-0, 0.20 in April 1981), Nolan Ryan (5-0, 0.20 in May 1984), Mike Witt (5-0, 0.21 in August 1986), Orel Hershiser (5-0, 0.00 in September 1988), and Cory Lidle (5-0, 0.20 in August 2002).