August 08, 2017

CLEVELAND (AP) Invaluable All-Star reliever Andrew Miller may need more time to recover from knee tendinitis.

And for now, that's fine with the Cleveland Indians.

Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list last week with soreness in his right knee that had bothered him for weeks. The elite, late-inning left-hander was having control issues and the Indians felt it was best to shut him down before it worsened.

Miller has been undergoing daily treatment and manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that he could be out longer than expected. He's eligible to be activated on Aug. 12, when the Indians are in Tampa.

''He may not be able to come off the day that he's eligible, but by all accounts he's really doing well and I don't think it will be too long after that,'' Francona said. ''But we gotta let him get back. There's no reason to have him miss 10 days and then cut it short by two or three. We'll do the right thing and hopefully we'll get him back.

''He's able to throw now, so he'll be fine.''

Other than ace Corey Kluber, Miller is the most important pitcher on Cleveland's staff. He joined the club at the trading deadline last July and was instrumental in Cleveland winning its first pennant since 1997. He was dominant in the postseason, going 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and striking out 30 in 19 innings.

The Indians need Miller to be himself, which is why they're being patient with him now.

''I just think it's the right thing to do,'' Francona said. ''It's hard not having him out there when you're used to having him out there, but I think when it's the right thing to do, I think you do it. Not just, like we were saying the other day, when it's convenient.''

Miller is 4-3 with a 1.67 ERA in 46 games this season. He has 15 walks in 54 innings this season after walking just nine in 74 1/3 innings in 2016.

Francona was asked how soon he'll pitch the indispensable Miller once he's activated.

''Five minutes after he's off the disabled list,'' Francona cracked.

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