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Indians Pitcher Lee Sidelined

February 16, 2003

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) _ Cleveland Indians pitcher Cliff Lee will be sidelined at least a month with an abdominal strain, a blow to the left-hander’s chances of making the opening-day roster.

Also, reliever Mark Wohlers will be sidelined for a week with a sore right elbow.

The injuries were revealed Sunday before Cleveland’s pitchers and catchers took the field for their first spring training workout.

The 24-year-old Lee, acquired last year in a trade with Montreal, is one of six pitchers fighting for two spots in the Indians’ starting rotation.

Lee injured his right side last month while throwing off a mound during the club’s winter developmental program in Cleveland, Indians trainer Paul Spicuzza said.

Spicuzza said it will be at least three weeks before Lee can throw again.

The Indians got Lee last June as part of the deal that sent ace Bartolo Colon to the Expos.

Lee went 5-3 in Cleveland’s minor league system before being called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Sept. 13. He made two starts with the Indians, going 0-1 with a 1.74 ERA.

Wohlers, who signed as a free agent with the Indians before last season, began feeling soreness in his elbow after throwing earlier this month.

The 33-year-old Wohlers, who had reconstructive elbow surgery in 1999, visited orthopedist James Andrews on Monday. An MRI test showed no structural damage, and Andrews told Spicuzza that Wohlers’ ligaments were stable.

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