Injury deemed rare, but Tomlin improving

Injury deemed rare, but Tomlin improving

Injury deemed rare, but Tomlin improving
CLEVELAND -- The Indians do not have a definitive answer as to what caused Josh Tomlin's right wrist injury. Hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, who has monitored the case, had never seen this particular problem with a pitcher.

All Cleveland cares about now is that Tomlin is improving.

"It's good news all and all," Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said on Friday afternoon. "He'll get back, feel fine and contribute real soon."

Tomlin -- currently on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right wrist -- took a step forward on Friday, when he played catch up to a distance of 75 feet at Progressive Field. Soloff said the Indians starter should be able to progress to throwing off a mound in a bullpen session by early next week, barring any setbacks along the way.

Multiple MRI exams revealed inflammation in the top of Tomlin's wrist, which suffered what the team described as "intersection syndrome." Soloff explained that there is inflammation at the point where two tendons meet in the pitcher's wrist. Tomlin was placed on the 15-day DL on Saturday.

"Intersection syndrome sounds better than going on the DL for a longer period of time," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He was able to play catch right away."

Tomlin, who is 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA in six appearances this season, will increase his throwing distance in 15-foot increments in the coming days, leading up to his return to the mound. The Indians have not indicated whether the right-hander will require a Minor League rehab assignment before rejoining the rotation.

"It's very encouraging," Tomlin said. "I hope to go through the throwing progression and be fine for a start whenever I do so. They haven't said anything [about a Minor League rehab]. It's going to be basically what they think."

As for what caused the injury, the Indians are not sure what to think.

"He's never seen it in a pitcher before," said Soloff, referring to Graham. "In the literature review, there were a couple cases over the past 50 years. So it's not the most common thing in the world for a throwing athlete."

Soloff noted that the injury is more common among competitive rowers and horseback riders. When jokingly reminded that Tomlin is from Texas, Soloff smiled.

"I don't think he has any horses in his backyard in Cleveland," Soloff quipped.