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Knee surgery will delay Sizemore's return to Majors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Free agent Grady Sizemore has attracted interest from several clubs hoping the three-time All-Star might yet have a comeback in him, but Sizemore is not going to be an option at the outset of 2013.

Sizemore had microfracture surgery on his right knee in September, his agent, Joe Urbon, confirmed. Because of the timetable of the recovery from that procedure, Sizemore -- whose entire career, to date, has been spent with the Indians -- might not be ready to take the field in a big league game until midseason, at the earliest.

If the words "Sizemore" and "microfracture" look familiar together, that's because Sizemore had the surgery performed on his left knee in June 2010. That surgery was a success, as Sizemore returned to the Indians in mid-April and made an instant impact. But he injured the other knee while sliding into a base in May and appeared in just 71 games that season. He didn't take the field at all after signing a one-year, $5 million contract with the Tribe for 2012.

Urbon said this microfracture surgery was "a lot less invasive" than the first, but Sizemore understands the bid to return to the field is going to be a long process.

"He has a good mindset," Urbon said. "He knows what to expect and what each step brings."

The hope for the Indians and for Sizemore a year ago was that microfracture surgery on the right knee could be avoided. Sizemore had an arthroscopic procedure performed on the knee near the end of the 2011 season, but the knee was a continual source of pain and frustration throughout '12.

Urbon said Sizemore probably pushed himself too hard to make a return to the Indians this year and suffered a setback. Sizemore, 30, has played in just 210 games over the last four years. But his past successes, including a 33-homer, 39-double, 38-stolen base season in 2008, make him an intriguing talent, if only he could stay on the field.

It is clear, though, that taking the field in 2013 will be yet another challenge for Sizemore.

"He has every intention of coming back when he's 100 percent," Urbon said, "and not a day sooner."

Cleveland Indians, Grady Sizemore