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MRI good news for Sizemore

By Sheldon Published: June 15, 2009

   CLEVELAND: Grady Sizemore passed his test Monday, but he will not automatically be promoted to the next grade. ¶
   It's a little different when you have a lingering injury that improves only incrementally. Which relates to Sizemore's activities on Monday that included an MRI scan on his left elbow. ¶
  ""The MRI looked pretty good,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""There's still a little something there, but it's a lot better.'' ¶
   Sizemore has been on the disabled list since May 31 with inflammation of the lining that covers his left elbow. He was shut down completely and given anti-inflammation medication. ¶
   For the first time since going on the DL, Sizemore was permitted to throw a baseball Monday, playing catch from 60 feet. He also took some dry swings. ¶
   Sizemore concedes that that pain in his elbow hasn't totally disappeared. ¶
   ""It feels a lot better than it did,'' he said. ""I'm not going to say that I don't feel something, though.'' ¶
   Sizemore believes that even if the elbow got no better, he could throw and hit now. ¶
   ""I think it would be fine if it stayed the way it it,'' he said. ""If it didn't get any worse, that would be a good thing. Before I went on the DL, it hurt to swing but throwing was the biggest thing.'' ¶
   Even though the MRI showed that the inflammation had dissipated, there is no guarantee it won't return. ¶
   ""There's a chance it could get worse,'' he said. ""It could linger all year.'' ¶
   The inflammation might also disappear. For the time being, surgery is still a last option to clean out the area. Such an operation would keep Sizemore on the DL from four to six additional weeks. ¶
   ""I don't know when we would be able to say yes or no (to surgery),'' Wedge said. ¶
   However, the current treatment indicates that Sizemore has a good chance to avoid an arthroscopic procedure. ¶
   Under the best circumstances, Wedge thinks that Sizemore could be back in the lineup in seven to 10 days. Wedge would only speculate on whether Sizemore would have to spend time in a rehabilitation assignment before he is activated. ¶
   ""We've talked about it,'' the manager said. ""He could probably use an at-bat or two, but no decision has been made yet. ¶
   In the meantime, Sizemore isn't having much fun. ¶
   ""It's tough,'' he said. ""No one wants to be in the dugout looking out at his team.'' ¶
   WESTBROOK BACKING OFF -- After his last rehabilitation start at Akron on Friday, Jake Westbrook suffered pain in his reconstructed right elbow that will delay his next start. ¶
   ""Jake is a little sore right now,'' manager Eric Wedge said Monday. ""He played catch today, and we'll see how he is tomorrow. ¶
   ""He hasn't had any setbacks, so we expected to see something a lot earlier than this. He'll throw another bullpen (before he starts again).'' ¶
   In his start for the Aeros, Westbrook threw four scoreless innings, giving up three hits. ¶
   LAFFEY PROGRESSING -- Aaron Laffey (right oblique strain) is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Thursday for Columbus. ¶
    It's too early to know how many minor-league outings Laffey will make before he is activated. However, he is being conditioned as a starter, which means he probably will throw at least 80-85 pitches in at least one start before he comes off the DL. ¶
   ON THE DOTTED LINE -- Sixth round pick , first baseman Ben Carlson from Missouri State, was one of four draftees signed by the Tribe. ¶
   Also agreeing to terms: 10th-round choice Brett Brach, a right-hander from Monmouth (N.J.) University; 11th rounder Kirk Wetmore, a left-hander from  Bellevue (Wash.) Community College, and 14th-round pick Kyle Smith, an infielder from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. ¶
   BLOOD DRIVE -- The Tribe, iin conjunction with the American Red Cross, will hold a blood drive before tonight's game against the Brewers. ¶
   Between noon and 8 p.m., fans can give blood on the plaza between Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. Blood collected in last year's drive was distributed to 57 local hospitals. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Matt LaPorta is batting .333 with two homers and six RBI in his past 11 games at Columbus. *elip Akron closer Vinnie Pestano leads the Eastern League with 16 saves. *elip Kinston left-hander Eric Berger is fourth in the Carolina League with a 2.37 earned-run averaged and fifth in strikeouts with 54 in 602/3 innings. *elip Lake County outfielder Donnie Webb leads the South Atlantic League in triples with eight and is second in steals with 21. ¶


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