Lilly has shoulder surgery

Chicago Cubs left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly had arthroscopic surgery to clean up debris and labrum fraying in his left shoulder on Tuesday.

The surgery went extremely well, according to Lilly and general manager Jim Hendry. The expected time for Lilly to begin throwing again is four months from Wednesday.

"I wanted to try and avoid surgery, but the shoulder didn't get any better after the season ended," Lilly said in a conference call Wednesday. "I didn't want to go into the season with the shoulder feeling this way."

Famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Youcum performed the surgery.

"I'm feeling pretty good about the surgery," Lilly said. "There was no significant labrum work done, and the rotator cuff had no damage."

If Lilly's rehab goes according to plan, he might be only a few weeks behind the other pitchers in the organization when spring training begins in mid-February.

Lilly said he has no regrets not shutting down his pitching for the season in September when he was experiencing some soreness in the shoulder. The Cubs left-hander rehabbed his shoulder in July while having arthroscopic surgery in his left knee at the same time.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said this doesn't alter the Cubs' offseason plans with their own free agents.

This means the Cubs will most likely pass on bringing back starting pitcher Rich Harden, who will have a chance to declare for free agency later this month.

Hendry also said the truncated format of next week's general managers meetings will cut down on the time general managers will have to spend with each other exploring any trade scenarios. The GM meetings will begin at the O'Hare Hilton Monday evening and end Wednesday in the early afternoon. This format is almost a day and a half short of the length of the usual GM meetings.