Brantley Lost for Five to Six Months After Shoulder Surgery

The Cleveland Indians announced on Monday afternoon that starting left fielder Michael Brantley underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder today. He is not expected to be ready for game activity for five to six months.

The surgery, performed in Wilmington, Delaware, by Dr. Craig Morgan, addressed a small tear in Brantley’s labrum in his right (non-throwing) shoulder. The injury originally occurred in the third inning of a game in Minnesota on September 22nd when he dove for a ball in the outfield.

Brantley injured - Foxsports.com
Brantley injured on 9/22 – Foxsports.com

 

Brantley originally worked through a rehab program after he was shut down for the remainder of the season. He returned to batting practice in October while working with the team’s Sports Medicine staff, but symptoms persisted and Brantley sought a second opinion on the injury with Morgan, who recommended surgery.

The loss may force a re-evaluation of the offseason plans for the Indians front office, which may or may not have included a look at upgrading the outfield. As currently stands, the team had question marks in center field and right field, with Abraham Almonte and Lonnie Chisenhall as the team’s end-of-season options at both positions. From a next-man-up perspective, the options at Triple-A Columbus may not be enticing and certainly cannot replace the 15 homers, 84 RBI, and .310 average provided by Brantley during the 2015 season, all of which were among the best on the team.

The $3 million option on part-time right fielder Ryan Raburn was declined last week.

Even on the short end of the recovery time table, it would appear as though Brantley will be unavailable at the start of the 2016 season, a costly blow to the coming campaign. Indians head athletic trainer James Quinlan indicated that he will not even swing a bat for four months and Brantley will need time in rehab games prior to being ready for regular action.

Photo: AP Photo/Chris Carlson

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