Cliff Lee is on target to return to the Phillies' starting pitching rotation sometime next week.

Lee, out since straining his left oblique muscle on April 18, threw a pain-free bullpen session at Turner Field on Wednesday. He said the plan was to throw one more bullpen session over the weekend then rejoin the rotation next week. Kyle Kendrick has been pitching in Lee's spot. Kendrick's turn comes up Friday in Washington then Wednesday at home against the Mets. Lee could slide in there if all continues to go well.

Lee said he felt nothing while throwing.

"It's slowly gotten better, but the last two days have been drastically better," he said. "There are a couple of exercises where I barely feel it, but nothing when I throw. It's pretty safe to say it's done."