Brewers reliever Will Smith will attempt to rehab his ailing right knee, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. The hope is that an approximately three-week layoff before throwing will allow the southpaw to avoid surgery for what has been diagnosed as a tear of his lateral collateral ligament.
Surgery, says Smith, likely would cost him most or all of the season. Given that he’d have plenty of time to rehab after the season even if the surgery is ultimately required, it certainly made sense to attempt the rehab route.
Even if the recovery process goes well, Smith figures to miss significant time. He’s a long-term piece of the team’s picture that will be handled with care. Surely, the Brewers will be cautious to ensure that he doesn’t further injure his knee or trigger an arm issue in compensating. Plus, he’ll need to ramp back up and make sure his arm is in shape before returning to major league action.
The knee issue will hit Smith’s wallet, especially if surgery is required. He’s due $1.48MM this year as a Super Two, and the possibility of racking up saves and holds promised a nice raise next winter. If he can make it back, that remains possible, but his innings will be limited and others — Jeremy Jeffress and Corey Knebel chief among them — may have a chance to lock up the 9th inning while Smith is out.