KANSAS CITY -- Jake Westbrook's right arm is no longer in a sling, but now he needs crutches. Westbrook, already recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery performed in June, had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right hip in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday. Westbrook told the Indians during Spring Training that the hip had been giving him intermittent soreness. The hip condition was not necessarily baseball-related. It was more attributable to Westbrook's body type, according to head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff.
"Over time, the body lays down an additional bone to accommodate for a stressful area in the hip," Soloff said. "That extra bone rubs against the hip joint, which would cause the intermittent symptoms in his hip." That extra bone was shaved down as part of the surgery performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd. Westbrook will be on crutches for about four weeks, and the hip procedure isn't expected to significantly affect his return-to-throwing program. He remains on schedule to begin throwing off flat ground around Thanksgiving, Soloff said. "He'll alternate days of elbow and hip rehab," Soloff said. Westbrook, who could be ready to pitch again around the 2009 midseason, will be in Cleveland for the remainder of the season, and he's committed to returning to Cleveland for monthly checkups in the offseason. He will also report early to Spring Training camp in Goodyear, Ariz. "He understands what's at stake," Soloff said. Westbrook, who also missed a month earlier this year with a strained oblique, was 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in five starts this season.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.