7/18 Lilly, Dempster & Soto

Ted Lilly is on track to start Monday in Philadelphia. The lefty was given two extra days because of inflamation in his left knee. “The decision to give him another 48 hours was a good one,” Lou Piniella said.

Lilly wasn’t sure when he first felt some discomfort in his left knee. It hasn’t really slowed him from doing his work on the side, and he said, “it’s nothing major.”

Ryan Dempster, who is on the disabled list with a broken right big toe, had his first bullpen session Saturday since he injured his foot on July 5. Piniella called the workout “OK.”

“The bone has to start showing calcifications and fusing together and that’s what we’re waiting for,” Piniella said. “I think before we make any concrete determination [as to when Dempster can pitch], he’ll have to get another X-ray. He threw today and he was OK. He passed the first test. Before we can push him any further, he’ll have to get another X-ray.”

Dempster was expected to have an X-ray on Thursday when the Cubs return from this two-city trip to Washington and Philadelphia. If he continues to progress, Dempster could throw a simulated game rather than go to the Minor Leagues, and be inserted back in the Cubs rotation by the end of July or first week of August.

Catcher Geovany Soto (left oblique strain) also was expected back the first week of August. He was currently rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz., at the team’s Spring Training facility.

— Carrie Muskat

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