CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – With maybe their most important playoff piece on the shelf for the second time in the penultimate month of the season, the Cleveland Indians are looking to “Rally Together” as their 2016 playoff mantra said.
That involves consulting the other runner-up across the street, reaching out to the Cleveland Cavaliers for advice on Andrew Miller’s right patella tendinitis, an ailment more common to basketball.
“Seems like what he has is most often [felt] by the NBA players because of the pounding and things like that,” Manager Terry Francona said. “So we reached out to the Cavs just to see what if, if they’ve had something similar, who they reached out to, things like that. Because really the best diagnosis is rest.”
Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving famously dealt with tendinitis in his right knee throughout the 2015 NBA Playoffs. At that point, Irving was cleared to play through the inflammation and irritation caused by the injury, but then wound up fracturing his patella (kneecap) in Game 1 of that year’s NBA Finals.
That broken patella is not linked at all to the tendinitis, but continued use of the patellar tendon can lead to increased irritation and eventually a rupture.
Though Francona and the team realize that the best option for Miller is rest, it did not sound as if the uber-competitive lefty would be spending too much time with the knee elevated.
“I don’t think he’s going to relax,” Francona said. “I saw him in (the training room) today. He was in there doing contrast and all that stuff early. I think he’s going to get after it.”
Miller himself said he and the training staff had tried ‘all sorts of stuff,’ including a brace on the knee. He also said that he had his ‘best day’ prior to the tweak that caused him to leave the game after five pitches.
“I think we, with all the information and all the feedback I was given, I felt like we had a pretty good plan in place,” the All-Star said. “Like I said, I felt pretty good yesterday up kind of until the very end, which was kind of different than it had been. I was feeling pretty confident and happy in the direction we were going, but just I think the amount of time it took honestly was the biggest setback and again you can’t control that.”
Also out of Miller’s control was the aftershock of home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt being hit in the mask by a Joe Kelly warmup pitch and having to leave the game just after Miller had finished his own warmup pitches.
The process now returns to square one, starting with gathering information.
“Again, we’ll go back to the drawing board and have a lot of confidence in our medical people and they’ll reach out, they’re not afraid to reach out and get direction from hopefully the best people in the country,” Francona said.
“We’re looking into everything,” Miller added. “Unfortunately, it’s not a spot where they do cortisone so there things out there that we’re looking into, but we’re not there yet. We’re trying to dig that stuff up as quickly as possible.”