CLEVELAND -- The right elbow soreness that eventually required Tommy John ligament replacement surgery bothered Indians pitcher Jake Westbrook for a full year.
"It's just something that I was able to manage," Westbrook said Sunday, his right arm dangling in a sling.
Westbrook wasn't able to manage it after his May 28 start against the White Sox. That start was Westbrook's return from a month-long absence due to a strained muscle on his left side, and it would prove to be his last start for a long, long while.
When the soreness following that start against the Sox got to be too much to handle, Westbrook was scratched from his June 3 start against the Rangers and placed on the disabled list. Just over a week later, he was going under the knife for Tommy John surgery, which will keep him on the shelf for 10-12 months.
"I was hoping [the injury] wasn't to this extent," Westbrook said. "It is what it is. Most of the guys who have [the surgery] recover. I need to find what I need to do to get back."
The 30-year-old Westbrook, who had the surgery performed Thursday, will remain in Cleveland for the long rehabilitation process, which began over the weekend. He's doing exercises to keep the arm loose, and his elbow was still throbbing Sunday.
"I'll still be around," he said. "But I'll miss going on the road and being around the guys. That's the worst part about going on the DL."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.