DETROIT -- Michael Brantley has grown unfortunately accustomed to reports speculating about how long it will take for him to return to the field for the Indians. On Thursday morning, the latest rumor brought an amused smirk to the outfielder's face.
A report by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports indicated that Brantley could "miss significant time next season" after undergoing biceps tenodesis surgery on Aug. 15. The procedure came with a timetable of four months, but the report, citing sources familiar with the surgery, claimed the recovery could take even longer.
"Already?" Brantley quipped. "Man, maybe he knows something I don't."
As he left the visitors' clubhouse at Comerica Park, Brantley then joked that he would see everyone next August.
Nothing surrounding Brantley's timetable for return has changed since his surgery, which anchored his biceps tendon to a different part of the shoulder. After the operation, Cleveland announced that Brantley is expected to be recovered in time to go through a typical Spring Training regimen in preparation for the 2017 season.
During the August surgery, which was performed by Dr. Keith Meister and Dr. Mark Schickendantz, it was also confirmed that Brantley's prior labrum repair remained intact and the rest of the shoulder looked good. On Nov. 9 last offseason, the left fielder underwent surgery to correct a labral tear, which represented the first in a series of setbacks for Brantley.
The shoulder and biceps issues limited Brantley to only 11 games this season for the Indians, who have used a variety of outfielders to make up for the lost at-bats. Brantley, 28, finished third in American League Most Valuable Player voting and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2014, and he enjoyed another strong season in '15 before sustaining a shoulder injury late in the season.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.