CHICAGO: It was seemingly a minor injury that lingered all season, and Rafael Perez had surgery Wednesday to fix it. No surgery will be necessary to repair Ubaldo Jimenez’s sprained ankle, but he also is through for 2012.
“Rafael underwent surgery to debride his left shoulder,” Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff said. “Dr. Craig Morgan cleaned out the back aspect of the joint. It was a 30-minute procedure. Raffy can initiate a throwing program in two months and is expected to be ready for spring training.”
Perez had been one of the Tribe’s more reliable relievers the past four years but after making only eight appearances and giving up three earned runs in 7⅔ innings, he went on the disabled list with what was initially described as a strained left lat.
As the months dragged on, Perez began a throwing program but never quite was able to complete it, suffering periodic setbacks, including a sprained ankle to complicate the recovery process.
“There was a time three or four outings before the ankle injury that he seemed to be approaching normal form,” Soloff said. “But that period of inactivity seemed to ramp up more symptoms when he tried to come back.”
From 2008 through 2011, Perez posted a 19-10 record and 4.06 ERA in 268 appearances.
Why did the Tribe wait until almost the end of the season to repair Perez’s shoulder? Because shoulder surgery has a lower percentage of successful outcomes than elbow procedures, doctors like to wait.
“We tried conservative management of the issue,” Soloff said.
Jimenez was examined by Dr. Brian Donley of the Cleveland Clinic.
“Ubaldo complained of symptoms in his last two starts,” Soloff said. “It affected the way he pushed off the mound, but the prognosis is excellent. It’s a minor issue.”
Manager Manny Acta said that Jeanmar Gomez will take Jimenez’s start Saturday against the Kansas City Royals, and either Zach McAllister or Corey Kluber will start Sunday.
Jimenez leads the American League in losses with 17 and has the league’s second highest ERA (5.55) and has the second-most walks (95). No Indians pitcher has lost as many as 17 since Tom Candiotti lost 18, when he was learning to be a knuckleball pitcher in 1987.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.