CHICAGO -- The Indians are confident that left-hander Rafael Perez will be at full strength by the time next Spring Training arrives. That was not the case this spring, or in the six months that followed.
On Wednesday, Perez's season-long battle with an arm injury ended with an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his left shoulder. The surgery was performed by Dr. Craig Morgan in Delaware and will require a recovery period of two months.
"Everything went as expected," Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said of the 30-minute operation. "He'll initiate a throwing program in approximately two months and is expected to be full-go by Spring Training."
Perez, 30, first complained of shoulder soreness in Spring Training and landed on the 15-day disabled list on April 26 with a strained left lat muscle. The lefty posted a 3.52 ERA in eight April appearances, but displayed diminished velocity to go along with command issues.
Between the 2007-11 seasons, Perez went a combined 20-12 with a 3.61 ERA in 312 appearances for the Indians. The lefty avoided arbitration with the Tribe last offseason by inking a one-year deal worth $2.005 million. Perez will be eligible for arbitration for a final time this winter.
Perez appeared poised to return to Cleveland's bullpen in August, but he sprained his right ankle in an Aug. 11 rehab outing with Triple-A Columbus. In the weeks that followed, Perez again complained of shoulder discomfort, leading Cleveland to seek a possible solution via surgery.
Given the risky nature of shoulder procedures, the Indians wanted to try a conservative rehab program before having Perez undergo surgery.
"As durable as Raffy has been over the years," Soloff said, "it was really the first time he had ever had any shoulder symptoms."