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Guardians reliever Trevor Stephan has Tommy John surgery, may need 16 months of recovery time

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Cleveland Guardians reliever Trevor Stephan had season-ending Tommy John surgery and could need up to 16 months to recover, the team said Thursday just hours before the opener.

Stephan, who has been a dependable part of Cleveland’s bullpen the past two seasons, had his right ulnar collateral ligament repaired and a bone spur addressed. The team said Dr. Keith Meister performed the operation in Dallas.

The Guardians estimate the 28-year-old Stephan will be sidelined at least one year and up to 16 months.

Stephan has appeared in 137 games the past two years, used primarily as a set-up man for closer Emmanuel Clase. Stephan did not pitch at all during spring training with a bone bruise, and tests revealed he needed surgery.

Stephan went 7-7 with a 4.06 ERA and two saves in 71 games last season. He’s 16-13 with a 3.73 ERA in 180 games the past three years.

His loss is another blow to a Cleveland bullpen dealing with numerous injuries. Right-handers James Karinchak (shoulder), Ben Lively (viral illness), Xzavion Curry (viral illness) and lefty Sam Hentges (middle finger) all started the season on the 15-day injured list.

The Guardians are also without starter Gavin Williams due to right elbow inflammation.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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