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Lewis injury goes back to training camp

By Sheldon Published: April 12, 2009

 Scott Lewis' forearm injury is not considered serious, but it will keep him on the disabled list for two to four weeks in the estimation of Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff

After examining an MRI scan of Lewis' left arm, Soloff said Sunday, "It was very encouraging news. He has a mild left forearm strain. He felt it on the last pitch he threw on Opening Day. 

"There is no structural damage, but there is inflammation in the flexor pronator (muscle group). Scott will not throw for five to seven days then increase his activity. We are hoping for an expedited return of two to four weeks.''

Even if Lewis misses only 15 days, the minimum he can spend on the disabled list, he will miss two starts, the first of which will be Wednesday in Kansas City against the Royals. Presumably, Lewis' place in the rotation will be taken by reliever Zach Jackson or one of two Columbus starters, Jeremy Sowers or Aaron Laffey.

Whereas Lewis felt the forearm tighten considerably on the last pitch he threw Friday, the injury predates the home opener by several weeks.

"It was a little sore in spring training, but I thought it was something I could pitch through,'' Lewis said. ""But it kept getting tighter and tighter, and finally on that last pitch, I felt it pull.''

Until his last two starts of the exhibition schedule, Lewis pitched consistently well. Then manager Eric Wedge told he he had earned a spot in the rotation and Lewis stumbled in his last two starts of training camp.

At the time, it appeared that Lewis had suffered a letdown after winning the competition for a roster spot with Laffey, Sowers and David Huff. In light of his forearm injury, there might have been a physical reason for his decline in proficiency.

"Once I started getting up to four or five innings per start in the spring, it became more of a factor,'' Lewis said. "They knew about it; that's why they backed me off to three innings in my last start before the season.''

Lewis was referring to being left back at camp in Goodyear, Ariz., to make his final tuneup in an extended spring training game. 

"I'm hoping that by the end of 15 days I'll be back on the mound,'' Lewis said. "But I don't know about being game ready.''

MORE TO DO -- Shin-Soo Choo lost a ball in the sun that went for a triple and led to a Toronto run.

Wedge wasn't being critical of Choo when he said, ""We need to start making plays. I don't care if it's the sun or whatever the hell it is. We have to start making plays to help our pitchers.''

MILLER UPDATE -- Adam Miller (right middle finger injury) is scheduled to throw a batting preactice session in Goodyear this week.

""The staff in Goodyear is happy with what they're seeing,'' Soloff said. ""The ball used to come off his middle finger. Now, it comes off the middle and index finger'' 

In two weeks, Miller could be ready to pitch in extended spring games if there are no setbacks.

DELLUCCI MAKING PROGRESS -- ""David completed a successful baserunning program without symptoms,'' Soloff said, referring to the outfielder's sore calf. ""We expect him to take part in game activity this week in Goodyear, starting at DH and progressing to outfield play. 

   ""He could be ready to go out on a rehab assignment late next week.'' 

STILL MONTHS AWAY -- Jake Westbrook (Tommy John surgery) is throwing 60 fastballs off a mound and off-speed pitches on flat ground.

Soloff said that Westbrook will continue on the same program for three or four weeks to strengthen his elbow. He remains on schedule to return to the Tribe's rotaqtion some time around mid season. 

FARM FACTS -- Aaron Laffey (0-1, 13.50 ERA) gave up five runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings, as Columbus droppped a 5-1 decision to Louisville in the first game of a doubleheader. Michael Aubrey and Matt LaPorta each tripled and singled. Michael Brantley tripled and drove in two runs in the second game, but Columbus lost 5-4... Karexon Sanchez homered twice and singled twice, driving in three runs, but Lake County lost 6-4 to Hagerstown. Alexander Perez gave up one run and three hits in six innings, striking out six.

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