Chisenhall looking at longer recovery period

Chisenhall looking at longer recovery period

BALTIMORE -- It is possible that third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall could return to the Indians before the end of this season. But the chances appear slim now that he has had his fractured forearm analyzed and surgically repaired.

Cleveland announced on Sunday that Chisenhall is expected to miss at least 10 to 12 weeks after undergoing a procedure to stabilize his broken right ulna. The operation was performed by specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Saturday at the Cleveland Clinic.

"We'll see how it goes," Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said. "The calendar is the calendar. But, hopefully, he'll make it back to play again this year."

Chisenhall exited Friday's 9-8 loss to the Orioles after being hit on the right arm by a 91-mph fastball from Baltimore lefty Troy Patton. The Indians initially estimated that the 23-year-old third baseman would likely miss between four to six weeks. But that was before Dr. Graham had a chance to take a closer look at the injury.

The forearm injury required an ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation) procedure, which included having Dr. Graham use a plate and screws to stabilize the minimally-displaced fracture. Chisenhall will likely remain in a cast for two weeks before shifting into a splint. A longer recovery period is anticipated, given that the fracture is located close to the wrist.

It was tough news for Cleveland.

"That's a tough one," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Obviously, the doctors know better. Being closer to the joint, it'll take longer. [Soloff] is optimistic that [Chisenhall] will still play at some point this year. But four to six and 10 to 12, that's a totally different story."

Soloff compared the injury to one suffered in 2010 by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who broke his left forearm during an on-field collision with Jhonny Peralta. Cabrera missed two months before returning to the lineup.

Through 24 games for the Indians this season, the Chisenhall has hitting .278 (20-for-72) with three home runs and nine RBIs. He had been heating up of late, posting a .342 (13-for-38) average over his past 13 games.

In Friday's contest, Chisenhall went 1-for-2 with a single and one run scored before exiting.

Chisenhall -- a first-round pick by the Indians in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft -- had been splitting time between third base and designated hitter since being promoted from Triple-A Columbus on May 28. Chisenhall's time at third has been limited since Jack Hannahan returned on June 15 after a stint on the 15-day disabled list.

Soloff does not believe the injury will hurt Chisenhall's future performance.

"We're optimistic that he'll make a full recovery," Soloff said. "Nothing is 100 percent, but the outcomes in cases like this are very strong. He's a hard-working kid."