Miller expected to miss 4-6 months

Miller expected to miss 4-6 months

KANSAS CITY -- Matt Miller's season could be over.

The right-handed reliever will undergo surgery to repair the right flexor tendon in his elbow in Cleveland on Wednesday and is expected to miss 4-6 months, according to head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff.

The surgery will be performed by head team physician Dr. Mark Schickendantz at the Cleveland Clinic.

"There's a chance he'll pitch for us late in the second half," Soloff said. "We're cautiously optimistic for a full recovery."

The sidearm-throwing Miller has no record and a 5.63 ERA in six appearances this season. He suffered the tendon strain in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 18-9 loss to the Orioles and was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day.

Miller has been down this road before, but never to the point of surgery.

He suffered a similar injury in 2001 and again in July of '05. Miller missed virtually the entire second half of last season as he rested and rehabbed the elbow without the aid of surgery.

Because the problem has become chronic, the Indians decided to go the surgical route this time around. Soloff was clear in pointing out that Miller is not going to have Tommy John surgery, though the tendon being repaired is near the ligament that procedure replaces.

"[Shickendantz] will clean out the scar tissue, then sew the tendon back together," Soloff said.

Miller's sidearm delivery exposes him to the threat of such an injury, Soloff said.

"Because he's a sidewinder," Soloff explained, "he exposes the elbow more than a pitcher with a three-quarters delivery."

The 34-year-old Miller is a former six-year Minor League free agent acquired by the Indians in 2004. He has since fought his way into prominence as one of the club's go-to middle relievers.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.