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Raburn's season ends with left knee surgery

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ryan Raburn can officially put the 2014 season behind him and begin concentrating on a return to health next year with the Indians.

On Friday, Raburn underwent arthroscopic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, where Dr. Rick Parker repaired a lateral meniscus tear in the veteran's left knee. Raburn is expected to need around six to eight weeks for a full recovery, giving him enough time to be ready for Spring Training.

"This will be a big winter for him," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We'll sit and talk to him when we get back [to Cleveland]. He has probably five to seven weeks where he's got to take care of the knee, and then we want him to get after it, so he comes back and has a chance to be more of the guy that we saw last year."

Raburn endured an injury-marred and inconsistent season for the Tribe, hitting .200 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in 74 games and turning in a .195 average against left-handed pitchers. The 33-year-old utility man injured his right wrist while running into a wall during a Cactus League game during the spring, and he was bothered off and on by that issue for most of the season.

"He tried to play through it," Francona said of the wrist issue. "I don't think that helped, but on the flip side, you appreciate guys trying to play. Every time you get nicked up, you can't just not play, but I do think it affected him a lot at the plate."

That wrist injury eventually led to a stint on the disabled list for the last two weeks of August, but Raburn returned after rosters expanded in September and went 3-for-7 at the plate in his final four games of the season. On Saturday, Raburn hyperextended his left knee during a play in right field in a game against the Tigers, and an MRI exam revealed a tear of the meniscus.

Raburn's showing this year was a drastic decline from 2013, when he was a key member of Cleveland's versatile bench. Overall last year, Raburn hit .272 with 16 home runs, 55 RBIs and a .901 OPS in his first season with the Indians. He was especially tough on left-handed pitchers, posting a .308 average with a 1.020 OPS against southpaws.

Cleveland rewarded Raburn for his strong play last season with a two-year, $4.85 million extension that runs through the 2015 campaign. That deal also included a team option worth $3 million for '16.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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