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06/01/09 6:52 PM ET
Sizemore hopes to avoid surgery
Arthroscopic procedure could sideline slugger two months
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- The Indians said an MRI of All-Star center fielder Grady Sizemore's inflamed left elbow revealed no structural damage. But that doesn't mean Sizemore isn't a candidate for surgical intervention. Sizemore, placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, will rest the injury and receive treatment for the next two weeks. If the inflammation in the elbow doesn't calm down by that point, Sizemore will probably have arthroscopic surgery performed on the elbow, according to head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff. The arthroscopy would essentially clean out the inflamed joint. "In essence," Soloff said, "it would suck out all the inflamed joint lining." If the procedure is performed, Soloff said Sizemore would miss an additional four to six weeks. "Probably closer to six," Soloff said. So that would be two months total spent on the DL for Sizemore, who has never been on the DL previously in his career. Obviously, it's a scenario the Indians hope to avoid. Thus far, Sizemore's elbow hasn't responded favorably to treatment. He spent two weeks getting treatment on the elbow while spending most of his time at designated hitter and only three games in the field. This past week, his only activity was swinging the bat, as the Indians held him out of pregame shagging duties. "We hope parlaying that [week off from throwing] with two weeks off [from all baseball activity] will help Grady overcome the symptoms," Soloff said. Soloff said Sizemore, who is one of eight Tribe players on the DL, injured his elbow on a swing and miss earlier this season, though he did not reveal when that exact instance occurred. "At the elbow, the thing that causes [inflammation] symptoms is extension," Soloff said. "This is clearly the result of baseball activities." Soloff said the injury is similar to that suffered by Victor Martinez last year only in that it involves inflammation. But Martinez, who missed two and a half months of action, also had loose bodies and a bone spur that had to be addressed surgically. Sizemore does not have such structural damage, according to the Tribe. "Grady's condition is more similar to Aaron Laffey's at the end of last season," Soloff said. Laffey was shut down in the Minors in early September because of elbow inflammation. He rested and rehabbed the injury before beginning throwing activities in October. Laffey avoided surgery, and the Indians hope Sizemore can do the same.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.