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09/14/09 9:06 PM ET

Smith continues therapy in Cleveland

Indians still think righty will pitch again this season

MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Smith had hoped to be throwing off a mound in the Metrodome on Monday as a significant step toward returning from a left knee injury.

Instead, Smith remains back in Cleveland, as the Indians placed him on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Sept. 1. Smith, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 29, is on the DL for the second time this season. He had a rotator cuff strain that kept him on the DL from May 2 to June 9.

Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said Smith remained in Cleveland so he could continue receiving aquatic therapy. Smith played catch again Monday and is still progressing toward mound work.

"We're still optimistic he'll pitch again this year," Soloff said.

What a year it's been for Smith. In addition to the knee and shoulder problems, he battled a viral infection and a finger strain in Spring Training. He had a rough first half but was just beginning to cement his standing in the back end of the Tribe 'pen when he injured his knee while walking down steps at his home on an August off-day.

Smith, acquired from the Mets last offseason in the three-team trade that sent Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners, has a 3.44 ERA in 37 appearances this season.

Also on Monday, the Indians officially placed Grady Sizemore on the DL, retroactive to Sept. 4. Sizemore had season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow last week and is still expected to undergo a second surgery to address an unstable left abdominal wall on Wednesday.

Soloff said Sizemore is doing well post-surgery.

"He'll visit with [team medical director Dr. Mark Schickendantz] on Tuesday," Soloff said. "If he's comfortable, he'll stay on as planned for the abdominal surgery in Philadelphia."

Dr. Bill Meyers will perform that second procedure.

With the DL moves, the Indians' active roster now stands at 30 players.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.