Indians' White out 2 months

Indians' White out 2 months

Published May. 22, 2011 3:38 p.m. ET

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Indians rookie starter Alex White will be sidelined at least two months with a sprained ligament in his right middle finger, a major setback for the former first-round draft pick.

White injured his finger while throwing a slider in the third inning of Friday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds. Head trainer Lonnie Soloff said the No. 15 overall pick in 2009 will not be able to pick up a baseball for "three to four weeks."

Soloff said surgery is not currently an option for White, who is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts. Soloff is "cautiously optimistic" White will pitch again this season.

White will wear a splint for the next few weeks to protect the ligament, which holds down a tendon in the finger.

The 22-year-old was not available for comment before Sunday's game.

White stayed in the game after getting hurt, but Soloff said he did not cause any further damage. White told the Indians he had experienced some past soreness in the finger, and Soloff said it was only a matter of time before he injured the ligament.

"If it didn't happen two days ago, it was going to happen at some point," Soloff said.

Soloff said White's injury is not the same as the one that derailed the career of right-hander Adam Miller, another of Cleveland's first-round picks. There are similarities, Soloff said, but Miller had other issues with his finger that made his injury unique.

White's injury isn't common in baseball, but one often seen in rock climbers, Soloff said.

In his brief time with the Indians, White showed the poise and polish that has the Indians believing he may one day anchor their rotation. Last season, he went a combined 10-10 at Class-A Kinston and Double-A Akron and was recognized as the Indians' top minor league pitcher.