The Indians made the announcement Tuesday before playing the middle game of a three-game series in Seattle. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Southern California. Tomlin met with the Los Angeles Angels' doctor Tuesday.
While Tomlin's ulnar collateral ligament is not completely torn, it's been compromised to the point where the surgery is necessary to correct the problem. Indians manager Manny Acta said the preliminary scans indicated an operation would likely be needed so Tuesday's announcement didn't come as a surprise.
"It was something that needed to be done for him to compete in the way he was able to compete in the past," Acta said.
Tomlin has been on the disabled list since Aug. 14 after he started to feel discomfort in his pitching elbow. Tomlin has taken a step backward after a strong 2011 in which he went 12-7 with a 4.25 ERA in 26 starts. He was 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances and had lost his last three starts before being demoted to the Indians bullpen in late July.
Acta believed the arm injury was at the core of his struggles this season.
"Without a doubt. When guys are having those kind of symptoms the first thing to be affected is command and he is a guy who command is such a big part of his game," Acta said.
The news didn't get any better for the Indians. Outfielder Grady Sizemore had a setback in his recovery from problems with his right knee. While it was back surgery that landed Sizemore on the disabled list to start the season, his surgically repaired knee continued to cause problems. Sizemore had progressed from pool workouts to running straight ahead on the field.
But during recent agility drills he started experiencing discomfort in the knee. He will be shut down for up to two weeks, and because of the time still needed to be recovered enough for game action, will not be ready in time to play in any games this season for the Indians or their minor league affiliates.
"One of the things that attracted me the most to this job was Grady Sizemore and have a player that was going to help me win ball games by himself," Acta said. "A lot of things have happened over the last three, four years that are out of his control."
One bit of good news for the Indians is the recovery of infielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who's been out since June 30 with a broken right arm. Indians' trainer Lonnie Soloff said Chisenhall's recovery is progressing and he has a chance at playing again this season. Chisenhall was hitting .278 in 24 games when he was injured.