Indians' Brantley to have season-ending shoulder surgery
CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Indians have played most of the season without All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley. The AL Central leaders will also finish it without him.
Brantley, who has played in only 11 games, will undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Monday, Indians manager Terry Francona announced before Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Brantley had surgery in November and began the season on the disabled list. He was activated in late April but returned to the DL on May 10 with biceps tendinitis.
The Indians have led the division since June 4 despite Brantley's absence.
''We'll just keep playing,'' Francona said. ''That's what we always do.''
The surgery will be performed in Dallas by Drs. Keith Meister and Mark Schickendantz. Schickendantz is the Indians' head team physician while Meister is the director of TMI Sports Medicine & Orthopedics and the head team physician of the Texas Rangers.
Brantley, 29, has attempted to return several times but was shut down with soreness in the shoulder when he went through hitting drills. He received two cortisone shots and underwent a procedure to remove scar tissue in late July.
Brantley and team officials remained optimistic he'd return, but that hope dissipated when the shoulder didn't progress.
''At certain points, when he starts to get fatigued, it's almost like he gets a blister on the inside on one of those things,'' Francona said. ''Sometimes, you go into somebody's shoulder, you go into somebody's knee, it's just, things happen.''
Francona said the specific nature of Brantley's surgery and a timetable for his recovery will be announced following the operation.
Brantley hit .327 in 2014, when he finished third in the AL MVP balloting. He batted .310 and led the league in doubles last season, which ended when he suffered a torn labrum diving for a fly ball in September.
Francona thinks the hard work Brantley put in to return will pay off at some point.
''It may not be this season, but I don't think those things go unrewarded,'' Francona said. ''I just think that he'll come back and he'll find a way to be as good as ever. I firmly believe that, because I believe in him.''