Indians still working out treatment plan for Miller’s knee

CLEVELAND (AP) Andrew Miller can start a throwing program as the Indians’ All-Star reliever battles inflammation in his right knee.

Miller, who is on the disabled list for the third time in the past year because of soreness in his knee, visited a specialist in New York on Tuesday. The club said Dr. David Altchek confirmed a previous diagnosis and the left-hander can ”begin a gradual progression back to mound activity.”

While there is no timetable for Miller to return, the fact that he doesn’t need surgery and can resume throwing is great news for the Indians.

Other than Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, Miller is the most important pitcher on the club’s staff, and if the Indians are going to make a run at a World Series title they’ll need the 33-year-old healthy.

Miller was vital to the Indians winning the 2016 pennant as manager Terry Francona rode him hard during the postseason.

On Tuesday, Indians team president Chris Antonetti said surgery was not being discussed for Miller, who is only signed through this season.

One of baseball’s most dominant late-inning relievers, Miller hasn’t been effective since coming off the DL on May 11. He opened the season with 10 scoreless innings before hurting his left hamstring.

He is 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA in 17 appearances.

Francona said getting a second opinion was important for the team and Miller.

”I think a lot of this is to give guys peace of mind,” he said. ”Not that it doesn’t hurt. We know what’s there, but even he said, `If I know this is what it is and I have to deal with it, I can.’ So, there’s multiple reasons why you do it. But one is also for peace of mind, sure.”

Cleveland’s bullpen has also had major issues, which could force the club to make moves before the July 31 trading deadline.

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