Duchscherer: “I’m concerned”

Justin Duchscherer will attempt to play catch today while dealing with soreness in his left hip that could prevent him from making Wednesday’s exhibition start against the Phillies in Clearwater.

Duchscherer has undergone three hip surgeries, the most recent on his left side on June 7. He skipped yesterday’s workout and received treatment.

“I feel OK,” he said. “I threw my BP session the other day and it felt great. Came in, and the next couple days I’ve had just a little bit of residual.

“Just cautious. Obviously, we’re not going to go out there and push it and make it any worse right now. We’re just going to make sure everything’s going OK before I get back on the field. That’s kind of where we stand.”

Though he was composed while updating reporters on his condition this morning, Duchscherer admitted that he’s concerned about his latest setback.

“Anytime my hip doesn’t feel 100 percent, I’m concerned because I’ve been through this three times before,” he said. “Like I said, we’re going to be cautious and make sure we don’t push it too far too quick, because I know the result of that.”

Duchscherer hasn’t discussed Wednesday’s start with manager Buck Showalter. Left-hander Zach Britton could make the start, since he’s supposed to follow Duchscherer to the mound.

“I haven’t even talked about it. I don’t know,” Duchscherer said. “Right now, today, I’m going to go out and play catch and see how it feels and go from there. It’s more of a reactive thing than anything. I’ve just got to feel my body and work through that. I’ve had two surgeries on the right hip. This one’s different. It’s the landing leg, so I don’t know where the line is where I keep pushing through it, whether it’s going to get better and go away, so I’m learning as I go with this.”

Asked about his level of frustration, Duchscherer replied, “Ten out of 10. I hope I wasn’t rude yesterday. I just wasn’t in the mood to talk about it. It’s been a long road. It’s certainly difficult.

“I know what it’s supposed to feel like, and I know the last couple days it hasn’t felt as good as it was feeling, so when something like that happens, obviously my first move is to go in there and say, ‘Hey, something’s not right. Let’s see what we can do to keep it from getting worse.’ That’s kind of where we’re at.”

Meanwhile, first baseman Derrek Lee will take batting practice today. He declined yesterday because of some tenderness in his right thumb.

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