Lilly had a cortisone injection and is taking anti-inflammatory medication for an injury he said he first felt after a winning May 18 start against St. Louis, and again after his first loss of the year last Wednesday in Arizona. The Dodgers have issued the non-specific diagnosis of shoulder inflammation.
Lilly said he hopes to be throwing again by the end of the week.
"If that's the case, we're feeling it's short-term," said manager Don Mattingly. "He's had stuff before, and it sounds like something he caught early. In the past he would have thrown another game with it. Hopefully, that's a good sign for us."
Speaking of short term, the Dodgers called up left-hander Michael Antonini from Triple-A Albuquerque for a day, then replaced him for Tuesday night's start with Nathan Eovaldi. Mattingly said Antonini was called up because he's a true long reliever, a curious observation as the Dodgers haven't needed one while compiling the best record in baseball.
Lilly, in the second year of a three-year, $33 million contract, knows when shoulder injuries are serious, having had one that disabled him in 2009. He returned to pitch in pain the rest of the year, then had arthroscopic surgery to clean up debris and labrum fraying in November. He still wasn't ready when the next season started, finally returning April 24.
"I felt it after the game, when the adrenaline wore off," said Lilly. "I knew something was wrong with it. After the off-day, the next day it was bothering me, so we're taking the time and hoping it gets better and doing what we have to do to get back as soon as possible."
It's a blow to Lilly, who got off to his best start, even though he missed his first outing while disabled for chronic neck stiffness. He's 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA, even after allowing eight runs in 3 1/3 his last time out.
"Getting off to a good start, you have expectations, trying to make the All-Star team and this definitely will make that a difficult thing to do," he said. "I already missed one start early in the year, but I don't know what else I could have done to try to prevent it. It's part of the game."
Antonini was 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA in nine games (eight starts) for Albuquerque. He was called up briefly by the Dodgers in April, but did not pitch. He probably won't pitch this time, either, as Eovaldi is expected to make the start Tuesday.