October 26, 2014

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Indians to lose Sizemore for 6-8 weeks

NEW YORK – Grady Sizemore will have surgery on his left knee next week and is expected to miss at least six to eight weeks.

Cleveland’s three-time All-Star has a deep bone bruise in the knee he injured May 16, and the condition and stability of the cartilage beneath his kneecap will be assessed during the arthroscopic operation by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo.

Steadman pioneered the use of microfracture surgery, which stimulates stem cells to repair and re-grow cartilage. Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said that neither microfracture, nor anything else, had been ruled out.

“The specifics of the surgery won’t be available until after the procedure takes place, so there’ll be some intra-operative decision-making process that determines what Dr. Steadman will do during surgery,” Soloff said.

The surgery hasn’t been scheduled yet, though it is planned for some time next week.

“The question isn’t how much cartilage is there, it’s the stability of the cartilage,” Soloff said. “We’ll have a specific update after the surgery.”

Cleveland officials consulted several knee specialists about their star center fielder, who would be a key player on any Indians contender in the near future.

He was certainly expected to perform on this edition of the team, which is 18-30 following Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Yankees and stuck in last place in the AL Central.

“Big blow,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He’s such an important part of this ballclub, because even when he’s struggling offensively as he was, he brings so much to the table. Speed never goes into a slump. He’s always played great defense.”

Sizemore missed the final month of 2009 after having surgery on his abdomen and left elbow, injuries that hounded him throughout the worst year of his career.

After averaging 29 homers and 118 runs in his All-Star years, the Gold Glove center fielder batted only .248 with 18 homers and 73 RBIs in 106 games.

Sizemore is one of the few remaining stars on a young roster that is expected to help the small-market Indians eventually contend again, after trading away Cy Young Award winners CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee for prospects.

The last time the Indians overhauled their personnel, they traded away pitcher Bartolo Colon at the deadline for two prospects. One was Lee, who was traded to Philadelphia last season and went on to start Game 1 of the World Series – against, of all people, Sabathia and the New York Yankees. The other player was Sizemore.